STATE PREVIEW: Jackson vs. Issaquah boys

4A state quarterfinals, Thursday, 5:30 p.m. at Tacoma Dome

Records: Jackson 23-1; Issaquah 18-6

AP rank: Jackson 1st; Issaquah 10th

Scoreczar rank: Jackson 1st; Issaquah 8th

How they got to Tacoma

Jackson beat Stadium 67-33 in a state regional game at Everett Community College. Issaquah beat Bellarmine Prep 64-46 in a state regional game at Puyallup H.S.

Common opponents

Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)—Jackson won 53-44, Issaquah lost 61-58; Columbia Christian (Ore.)—Jackson won 68-48, Issaquah won 64-57.

Players to watch

Jackson—Jason Todd, Sr., W; Dan Kingma, Sr., G; Brian Zehr, Sr., P; Connor Willgress, Sr., F.

Issaquah—Ty Gibson, Jr., G; Trevon Ary-Turner, Fr., G; Jake Henke, Sr., F; Brian Watson, Sr., G.

Breakdown

The list of teams to conquer the Timberwolves the past two seasons is short. Curtis defeated the Timberwolves in last year’s 4A state championship game and Lincoln, a top-five 3A team for much of this season, handed Jackson its only loss so far this year on Jan. 20. It all points to Issaquah being in for quite the challenge if it’s going to knock off the top-ranked 4A team in the state. The Eagles come into today’s quarterfinal with a record of 18-6, with just three of those losses coming to teams from Washington. The Eagles traveled to the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in Palm Springs earlier in December and left with a record of 1-3. That was the same tournament that the Timberwolves won to establish themselves in the national spotlight. The Timberwolves and Eagles had one common opponent in Palm Springs, Harvard-Westlake from Studio City, Ca.; Jackson won by nine, while the Eagles lost by three. Of the Eagles three losses to Washington teams, two were at the hands of No. 3-ranked Garfield and the other to Ballard on Jan. 24. Issaquah also handed Garfield its only loss of the season on Feb. 1. If the Eagles are to challenge the Timberwolves tonight, they will need a strong performance from their backcourt of Ty Gibson, who averages 15.8 points per game to lead the Eagles, and Brian Watson (9.1 ppg). Issaquah has three other players averaging more than eight: Trevon Ary-Turner (10.5 ppg), Jake Henke (9.2 ppg) and Cory Nevin (8.2 ppg).

Radio: KRKO, 1380 AM

Twitter: @aaronlommers

Prediction: Jackson 72, Issaquah 55

Aaron Lommers, Herald Writer

The Timberwolves’ road to Tacoma:

The journey begins with memory of a loss

Jackson rolls over E-W in season opener

Jackson beats Harvard-Westlake in opener of MaxPreps Holiday Classic

Kingma shoots Jackson into MaxPreps Holiday Classic semifinals

Brian Zehr’s buzzer-beater helps Jackson advance to MaxPreps title game

Jackson beats Capital Christian, of Sacramento, Calif., for MaxPreps title

What makes Dan Kingma such a great point guard

Jackson loses first regular season game in more than a year

Timberwolves beat Arlington for fourth straight district title

Jackson routs Stadium in state-regional game

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