Jackson finishes season with impressive playoff run | Boys basketball

By David Pan | Mar 02, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Jackson's Christian Liddell attempts a shot during the 4A District playoffs.

Jackson coach Steve Johnson entered the 2017-18 with more questions than answers about his team.

The Wolfpack featured five new starters, most of whom had very limited varsity experience.

But by the end of the season, the Timberwolves were playing like veterans as evidenced by their surprising 65-50 victory over Monroe, the No. 2 seed, in a loser-out 4A District 1 boys basketball game Thursday, Feb. 15, at Everett Community College.

Junior guard Ben Olesen scored 17 points and was one of four Timberwolves in double figures.

Monroe senior Colby Kyle finished with a game-high 34 points, despite being double-teamed all game. But he was the only Bearcat in double figures.

In their two previous clashes, Monroe beat Jackson. This time the Wolfpack decided to have two defenders guard Kyle.

“You could argue it didn’t work,” Jackson coach Steve Johnson said. “It’s not like we held in check. He had 34 points. I do think it got them out of rhythm. Their other guys weren’t able to get loose. Other guys weren’t really able to run their freedom of movement and motion. We thought we’d show them something slightly different defensively.”

Johnson added that Jackson’s rotations were solid and its defenders got out to Monroe’s shooters.

“We challenged shots. I thought we rebounded really well,” Johnson said.

Olesen agreed that the Bearcats didn’t seem to develop any offensive flow.

“They just wanted to get him (Kyle) the ball every time,” Olesen said. “It helped us to eventually get the W.”

Christian Liddell scored 17 points and Kevin Han added 12 points for Jackson (16-9). Teammate Channer Hendrickson had 10 points. The Wolfpack had good success with its 3-point shots.

Monroe took a 15-12 lead after the first quarter before the momentum shifted to Jackson, which took a 27-24 advantage at halftime. The Wolfpack extended their lead to 41-32 at the end of the third quarter.

The Timberwolves’ playoff run ended with a 54-43 loss to Wesco 4A champion Glacier Peak in a winner-to-state regionals/loser-out contest.

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