Auburn’s Isaiah Dunn drives to the rim during district playoff action Thursday. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Auburn’s Isaiah Dunn drives to the rim during district playoff action Thursday. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Storm covers Trojans in district playoff

Skyview races to quick lead, goes on to post 60-36 win

Before the arrival of this weekend’s winter storm, the Auburn boys basketball team had to weather one of its own.

The Trojans lost valuable practice time Monday and Tuesday in preparation for their district playoff game Thursday as winter’s first major blow of snow, wind and ice earlier in the week closed schools and canceled activities.

On Wednesday, the Trojans’ star post player, senior Isaiah Dunn, was in the emergency room with migraine headaches.

All of which contributed to a rocky start and a disappointing finish on the home floor against another front – the Storm from Skyview.

The visitors from Vancouver jumped out to a 10-point lead, stretched it to 17 points early in the second quarter and cruised the rest of the way, delivering a 60-36 victory against Auburn in a West Central/Southwest District playoff game at Bob Jones Gymnasium.

Weather willing, the Trojans (16-6) will try to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. They will play Battle Ground at Tacoma’s Foss High School, but when is anyone’s guess, given the impact of the latest snowstorm.

“It could be Monday, but at this point we don’t know,” Auburn coach Ryan Hansen said of the storm-tossed schedule. “We were told we can’t practice Friday, and Saturday is canceled. … It’s wait and see.”

Worst-case scenario? District and state officials may determine that Thursday’s outcome to be a single-elimination game, if the tournament runs out of days to stage play.

Hansen hopes his team gets another shot on the court to atone for its first-round collapse.

“We’re going to be OK. We’ll keep getting better,” he said. “This time of the year, it’s a good taste for our kids, but we want it to taste a little sweeter than it did today.”

From the outset, Skyview contained Dunn and smothered Auburn’s shooters.

“That was the game plan,” said Skyview coach Matt Gruhler. “We watched a lot of film on them, and we knew the keys were trying to slow down their big guy (Dunn) inside and crowd and stay out on their shooters … try to force them to shoot floaters and things in mid-range, which most teams don’t work on as much.

“Those (Auburn) freshman guards are really good. I’m nervous about seeing them in two years,” Gruhler added, “but tonight we did a good job (on them).”

The young Trojans missed shots inside and couldn’t connect from the perimeter. All of their points came off drives and put-backs. It wasn’t until six minutes were left in the game when Kaden Hansen sank the team’s first jumper, a 3-pointer along the baseline.

The Trojans coughed up 24 turnovers.

Darrell Hester, a 5-foot-11 junior, scored all of his eight points in the fourth quarter to lead Auburn. Everyone else scored six points or less. Dunn, not at full speed, scored two points in limited minutes.

Kyle Gruhler and Squeeky Johnson each had 12 points to lead the Storm (16-5).

“Their physicality wore us down a little bit,” Hansen said of the more experienced opponent. “We didn’t play well. We didn’t shoot the ball well. We had some pretty good looks early in the game, but they didn’t go down. The game started to get away from us a little bit, and then you feel like you need to press a little bit to get yourself back in it, and sometimes that’s not a good thing because you’re taking shots you shouldn’t take.”

More in Sports

Sippin Fire wears down Canadian invader Weekend Wizard in a heated stretch battle to scored a three-quarter-length victory in the $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby for 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs last July. Sippin Fire, the Horse of the Meeting, returns to the Auburn track this season. COURTESY PHOTO
Off and running at Emerald Downs; track opens for 24th season on Saturday

Talented, deep jockey colony and top trainers return

Another no-no for Nate

Weeldreyer silences TJ as Auburn Mountainview rolls to 11-0 win

Ravens bounce Titans, move to 9-1 in league | NPSL Olympic girls tennis

Auburn Riverside defeated Todd Beamer 4-1 in a North Puget Sound League… Continue reading

Stars drop Game 1 to Sockers 6-3

The Tacoma Stars kept pace with the San Diego Sockers through two… Continue reading

Grand day: Podliska powers Lions past Hornets 16-8 | NPSL Olympic softball

Emma Podliska launched a grand slam home run to lead Auburn Mountainview… Continue reading

Reporter honors the Lions’ Hilderbrand, Penn

Auburn Mountainview High School’s Kenzie Hilderbrand, water polo, is the Auburn Reporter’s… Continue reading

Federal Way stops Auburn in showdown 5-1

Ravens rout Hornets; Lions outslug Gators

Fight Night Brawl VII comes to Green River College on Saturday

Jefferson-Gee welterweight matchup leads eight-bout card

Stars earn playoff spot, face Sockers at ShoWare on Friday

Club blows out Express 14-4 to finish regular season

Most Read