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Falcon boys learn lessons in 2 losses

"Photo: Charlie Sarkis dribbles around a Nooksack defender while looking for an open teammate.Jim Larsen / staff photosSorting through the rubble of back-to-back homecourt blowout losses last weekend, South Whidbey boys basketball coach Brian Kissinger looked for the good in the Falcons' 74-33 loss to Nooksack Valley on Friday and their 82-42 defeat at the hands of Lynden Christian Saturday.There were some positives in there, said Kissinger after the Falcons dropped to 3-6 in the North Cascades Conference and to 4-9 overall. If anything, we're learning what it takes to win. We've had enough practice on how to lose. We're learning about taking care of the ball better, we're learning about our shot selection.Not that the learning didn't come at a price, however, beginning with Friday's matchup with eighth-ranked Nooksack Valley. Falling behind 7-0 in the game's first three minutes, the Falcons trailed 20-6 after only one quarter only to see the Pioneers run off an 18-0 spurt to go up 38-6 and put the game out of reach early. Perhaps rattled by the Pioneers' size, South Whidbey had almost as many turnovers as rebounds (24-20), shot only 29 percent from the field (14-for-49) and had eight of those shots blocked.Most affected were Falcon inside players Brian Moote and Daniel Levine, who scored six points each but ended up a combined 5-for-22 from the field. Lai Saephan topped South Whidbey scorers with seven points while Josh Nehf and Jamie Watson each had five rebounds.Lyncs deadly from outsideAgainst Lynden Christian, which bombed the Falcons 105-61 in the their first meeting, South Whidbey fell victim to the Lyncs' blistering first-half shooting. Lynden Christian nailed 67 percent of its field goals (18-of-27) in the first two quarters to roll to an insurmountable 45-19 lead at the break.Moote battled his way to a team-high 14 points, while Jamie Watson added 11 points and sophomore Tim Gabelein a team-high six rebounds.It's never been about wins or losses with me, it' always been about competing, said Kissinger. I didn't think that we competed against Nooksack. But we did a better job against Lynden Christian. They just shot the lights out.The Falcons now hit the road for a pair of North Cascades Conference games, first taking on Sultan Friday before traveling to Class 2A defending state champion Blaine Saturday. South Whidbey hopes to make up for a tough loss against the Turks, who rallied from a 14-point deficit to slip by the Falcons 56-54. Blaine, meanwhile, ranked third in the state this season, is on a roll having handed Nooksack its first league loss Saturday. They also pounded Lynden Christian 98-64 earlier in the week.Box ScoreS. Whidbey 6 6 10 11 - 33Nooksack 20 22 20 12 - 74Scoring: Saephan 7, Priest 6, Levine 6, Moote 6, Murphy 4, Watson 2, Nehf 2.S. Whidbey 6 13 10 13 - 42Lynden C. 14 31 22 15 - 82Scoring: Moote 14, Watson 11, Levine 7, Saephan 6, Priest 2, Nehf 2. "

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