Union Titans guard Micah Paulson was the target of the Issaquah Eagles defense all day Thursday, so fellow senior Riley Hawken had to step up.
The forward led all scorers with 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting – including the first six points of the fourth quarter – to lead the Titans past the Eagles, 63-55, in the 4A state boys basketball quarterfinals Thursday afternoon at the Tacoma Dome.
“They definitely focused on taking away Micah Paulson. They denied him, they put a box-and-1 on him,” Union coach Blake Conley said. “Based on what we were seeing, we said, ‘Gosh we’ve got to get it down to Riley.’ I thought we did a really good job.”
The Titans (23-1) made all 10 of their free throws in the fourth quarter, helping salt away a game they led 42-40 after three quarters.
Hawken also made 8 of 10 free throws in the game and grabbed eight rebounds. Paulson finished with 10 points on 2-for-5 3-point shooting and was perfect in six shots from the free throw line.
Sophomore center Tanner Davis led Issaquah (20-6) with 21 points and seven rebounds.
The Titans will face top-ranked Federal Way at 5:30 p.m. Friday, while the Eagles will face Moses Lake at 10:30 a.m.