Boys state notebook: Garfield, Issaquah will face off again following racist remarks on social media

Staff writerMarch 6, 2014 

The Garfield boys basketball team has faced Issaquah three times this season. One of those was its only loss.

The Bulldogs (22-1) won the most recent, 83-65 in the KingCo championship game Feb. 21.

Issaquah principal Andrea McCormick was notified three days later of racist remarks posted on various social media sites from accounts connected to Issaquah students and directed toward Garfield players.

One Twitter post included a photo of Issaquah leading scorer Ty Gibson, who is white, facing three black Garfield players that included racial remarks written with it.

Garfield filed a police report and McCormick said Issaquah has fully cooperated. She said none of the posts were connected to players from the Issaquah basketball team.

“The posts were highly offensive and inappropriate and are not representative of our student body,” the Issaquah principal said.

Garfield and Issaquah will play each other a fourth time this season when they meet in the in the 4A state semifinals at 7:15 p.m. Friday. McCormick said all students who they have been connected to the posts have been disciplined, but she would not comment on how many or what the punishment included.

She said Garfield notified Tacoma Dome officials on behalf of both schools of the situation and that Issaquah is sending extra school officials for added security purposes.

The Washington Interscholastic Activity Association said that after learning of the situation and the measures each school is taking, it did not feel a need to provide more of its own security for Friday’s game.

McCormick said Issaquah ASB members have reached out to Garfield’s ASB to apologize and state their disagreement with the students’ remarks.

MISSING OUT

Kentridge’s 6-foot-7 forward Joe Wainhouse isn’t ready to hit the batting cages yet.

Instead, the Ole-Miss bound designated hitter is enjoying the bright lights and packed seats of the Tacoma Dome.

South Puget Sound League rules prohibit athletes from participating in two sports at once. But his baseball coach doesn’t mind if the slugger – who batted .396, hit three home runs and had 24 RBIs in taking the Chargers to the state baseball tournament last season – misses the first week of practice.

“It’s rough to be missing stuff, but at least I’m staying in shape,” Wainhouse said.

“State for baseball, the final four there, is not the T-Dome with everyone from your school there screaming. It’s a lot more low-key. I’m just excited to be able to compete in this atmosphere.”

BACK … IN PURPLE?

Tramaine Isabell had a chance to give Lakeside a 3A state title last year, but missed a free throw with the game tied with 1.3 seconds left in regulation after leading the team with 21 points.

He’s back in the Tacoma Dome. This time wearing Garfield’s purple, hoping to achieve the rare accomplishment of playing in a 3A title and a 4A title with different schools.

“I came in here last year wide-eyed, not knowing what to expect,” said Isabell, who will attend Washington State next year. “Now I know what to expect. I’m just trying to get this monkey off my shoulder.”

He’s trying to accomplish what Bulldog grads such as Brandon Roy and Tony Wroten didn’t and win a state title. Garfield has never won a 4A title and its last came in the 3A championship in 1998.

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