Working Overtime for the Win
Hall, Fayson Stand Out in Overtime Period
Dec. 8 – it is usually much more difficult to hit a 3-point shot than a free throw. And that is why Highline’s 90-85 overtime win over Green River seemed so paradoxical. In the first half it was Green River scorching the nets in 3-point shooting (10-18) to take a 44-32 halftime lead. In the second half and in overtime, it was their bad free-throw shooting (7-19) that contributed to Highline catching up and finally coming away with the win. Of course, there was more to it, such as Highline Head Coach Che Dawson deciding to go with a small lineup halfway through the second half to provide more quickness on the defensive perimeter and push the pace on offense. Then in overtime it was Mahlik Hall taking control of the game on offense and Jaylen Fason’s game changing block of Green River’s Pa’Treon Lee layup attempt with 1:07 left in overtime and Highline up by two points. And ironically enough in light of the Gators’ free throw woes, it was Griffin Gardoski hitting two free throws with seven seconds left to clinch the T-Bird win.
For Highline, Micah Jessie (25 points, 9 rebounds) paced a balanced Highline attack, with Hall ( 23 points, 8 rebounds), Nathan Yockey (15 points), and Jalen Fayson (12 points, 12 rebounds) all scoring double figures. Green River was led by Connor Woodward, who came off the bench for 30 points, including 9-13 in 3-point shooting.
With the win Highline goes to 1-0 in league play and 9-6 for the season while Green River falls to 8-8.
Highline’s Griffin Gardoski (8 points) goes up against Derek Cox of Green River.
Cesar Diaz (4 points) was part of Highline’s successful second half comeback.
Muzzling the Bulldogs
Strong Second Half Leads to Easy Win over Bellevue
Dec. 30 – With a seven point lead in its pocket at halftime, Highline dominated the second half, outscoring the Bellevue Bulldogs 43-25 to come away with a 80-55 home win. All five Thunderbird starters scored in double-figures, with Micah Jessie leading the way with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. Nathan Yockey added 16 points while Jalen Fayson contributed 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Bellevue was led by Trevon Richmond and Tijohn Rodde, each with 18 points.
In addition to hitting 47% of its shots and holding the Bulldogs to 36%, Highline controlled the boards 46-30. With the win it improves to 8-5 while Bellevue’s struggles continue at 1-11.
The T-Birds next play at Peninsula on Jan. 4, 2020 before returning home to open conference play on Jan. 8 against Green River.
Zyair Dillon with one of Highline’s 46 rebounds against Bellevue. The T-Birds outrebounded the visitors 46-30.
Griffin Gardoski (11 points) with the jumper over Bellevue’s Will Lin.
Big Second Half Leads Highline Over the Rangers
Dec. 21 – Mahlik Hall, Highline’s second leading scorer, overcame a scoreless first half to hit for 21 points in the second half to lead the Thunderbirds to a 90-72 win over Olympic College. All five Highline starters, playing at least 35 minutes, hit for double figures, with Jaylen Fayson also pulling down a game high12 rebounds to go with his 13 points.
Ahead by a 39-36 count at halftime, the T-Birds broke out to a 12 point lead before Olympic went on a run to tie the score at 56 with 11 minutes to go. Highline then outscored the Rangers 18-2 over the next five minutes with Hall scoring 10 consecutive points during the run to put the game away.
Highline improves to 7-5 with its next game on Dec. 30 as it hosts Bellevue College.
At the NWAC Crossover Tournament
Dec. 14-16 – Highline went 1-2 in the NWAC Crossover Tournament at Everett, WA, with losses to Spokane (88-70) and Everett (92-73) and a 77-52 win over Mt. Hood. Jaylen Fayson led Highline in averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds in the tournament, while Micah Jessie averaged 15 points and 5 boards over the three games.
Highline stands at 6-5 and next plays at home on Dec. 21 vs. Olympic College.
Micah Jessie (here against Lower Columbia) averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds in the NWAC Crossover Tournament.
Road Win at Shoreline
Highline Edges Past the Dolphins 71-67
Dec. 11 – Nathan Yockey and Jalen Fayson each hit for 13 points and Fayson pulled down a game high 16 rebounds as Highline improved to 5-3 with a 71-67 road win against the Shoreline Dolphins. Highline’s Mahlik Hall added nine assists while Shoreline’s Mussie Teclemariam led all scorers with 15 points.
The Thunderbirds won despite committing 22 turnovers, basically by out rebounding Shoreline 46 to 28 and shooting 10-21 from the three-point arc (47.6%). Another key factor in the win was Highline’s bench outscoring the Shoreline reserves 24-14.
The team next participates in the Everett CC Crossover Tournament on Dec. 14-16. The team returns home to take on Olympic College on Dec. 21.
LeAndrew Menefee (here against Bellevue) came off the bench for six points against Shoreline as the Thunderbird reserves helped spark the 71-67 win.
Pecked by the Penguins
Highline Loses at Home to Clark College
Dec. 4. – it was Clark’s long-range shooting that did in Highline as the Thunderbirds lost at home to the Penguins 78-67. Clark’s Ethan Smith led all scorers with 25 points and hit more 3-point shots himself (7-12) than Highline managed as a team, going 5-17 from behind the arc. Jalen Fayson and Mahlik Hall led Highline with 16 points each, with Fayson pulling down 14 rebounds while Hall also recorded a double-double with 10 boards. All five starters for Clark scored in double-figures, with Matt Garrison going for 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Highline now stands at 4-2 for the season with road games at Edmonds (Dec. 6) and Shoreline (Dec. 11) before participating in the Everett CC Crossover Tournament on Dec. 14-16. The team returns home to take on Olympic College on Dec. 21.
Jalen Fayson with one of his 14 rebounds against Clark.
Emmanuel Mulibea with two of his 9 points against Clark
Good Showing in Bulldog Classic
Highline Goes 2-1 in Annual Tournament
Nov. 22-24 – Highline shook off an opening loss to go 2-1 in the annual Bulldog Classic Tournament hosted by Bellevue College. After falling 89-79 in the opener to Walla Walla the Thunderbirds rebounded by topping Chemeketa 85-73 and Bellevue 87-76. Freshman forward Jalen Fayson continued his strong start to the season by averaging 19.3 points and 6.3 rebounds for the tournament. Sophomore Nathan Yockey added 15.3 points per game while Griffin Gardoski hit for 9.3 points and 10 rebounds per contest. Highline now stands at 4-1 with some time off over the Thanksgiving break before returning to action on Dec. 4 by hosting the Clark College Penguins.
Jalen Fayson averaged over 19 points in the Bellevue Bulldog Classic Tournament
Nathan Yockey averaged over 15 points in the Bulldog Classic, showing an inside and outside offensive game.
Off to a Strong Start
Nov. 15-16 Highline is off to a 2-0 start to the season with wins over Linn-Benton (76-72 )and Lower Columbia (84-66 )in the Tacoma Community College Titan Classic. In the win over Linn-Benton the Thunderbirds were led by Mahlik Hall with 22 points and 5 assists, with Nathan Yockey (18 points), Griffin Gardoski (14 points), and Micah Jessie (12 points) also in double-figure scoring. Jalen Fayson pulled down 14 rebounds. While Highline was outshot from the field by Linn-Benton 48% to 36% and plagued with turnovers, the T-Birds controlled the boards and came away with the win.
Against Lower Columbia, it was a tight contest through the first half with Highline taking a slim 41-38 lead at the break. It was in the second half that the Thunderbirds, with some hot shooting, broke the game open, going on a 19-4 run to start the second half on the way to an 18 point victory. Jalen Fayson, with 18 points, led five T-Birds in double-figures, joined by Micah Jessie and Mahlik Hall with 17 points apiece, Nathan Yockey (11 points) and Cesar Diaz (10 points). Brandon Baker and Carson Cloaninger each had 11 points for Lower Columbia. For the contest the Thunderbirds shot 54% while holding the Hawks to 34%.
The team next participates in the Bulldog Classic at Bellevue College, taking on Walla Walla on Nov. 22.
Mahlik Hall had 17 points against Lower Columbia
Freshman Micah Jessie on the baseline jumper.
2019 Highline Men Basketball Team
(left to right)
Mgr. Jason Holler
10 James Brown
11 Cesar Diaz
23 Ryder Kavanagh
31 Connor Edwards
21 Griffin Gardoski
3 Micah Zevenbergen
0 Zyair Dillon
5 Jalen Fayson
2 Emmanuel Mulibea
12 LeAndrew Menefee
1 Nathan Yockey
22 Micah Jessie
20 Kiwanis Thomas III
24 Mahlik Hall