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.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center

T-Birds select 13 players in Bantam Draft

Seattle trades goalie Roddy Ross to Regina for three draft picks

Auburn Riverside’s Camden Heilborn to play volleyball at Western Washington

Will join sister Calley Heilborn at Bellingham school

High school stadium lights will go on across the state, including Kent and Auburn, on Friday night to honor the Class of 2020. COURTESY PHOTO
No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

Emerald Downs still plans to have horse racing season in 2020

Horse training continues at Auburn racetrack

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

T-Birds select Dauner, Mackie in Western Hockey League U.S. Prospects Draft

Dauner is a center from Fargo; Mackie is a defenseman from Anchorage

The waiting game

High school spring sports put on hold as officials hope for a change to salvage play

Western Hockey League cancels playoffs for 2020 because of COVID-19

No more games this season for Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds

Applications being accepted for Smart Choices Scholarships

High school seniors encouraged to apply; deadline is April 1