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Hard luck Falcon boys lose in overtime

"When South Whidbey's Jamie Watson blew by Meridian's defense to score the go-ahead basket with eight seconds remaining in overtime in last Tuesday's North Cascades Conference road game, it looked like the Falcons were finally going to get a break.A win against the Trojans would not only snap a six-game league losing streak, it would keep the Falcons' faint playoff hopes alive as well as somewhat ease the pain of a number of close losses this season.Unfortunately, it took Meridian just six ticks of the clock to all but end the Falcons' postseason dreams, as Jeff Bennum tossed in a short jumper with 0:02 remaining to give the Trojans a 67-66 win.South Whidbey had one last chance, but Lai Saephan - who had already nailed a school-record seven three-point baskets - was unable to get off a shot before time expired.With two seconds left you need some kind of miracle, said Falcon coach Brian Kissinger. We're not having much luck in the miracle department this year.The loss dropped South Whidbey to 3-10 in conference play and to 4-13 overall. The heartbreaking loss wasted a gallant comeback effort for the Falcons, who overcame a 40-28 half time advantage by Meridian to eventually take the lead in the fourth quarter.We played a horrible first half defensively, it was just a total team funk, Kissinger said. The crazy thing is we come out in the second half and give up only 27 points total, including the overtime.And while the defense started to do its job, the Falcon offense also went into high gear, as they shot a season-best 53 percent from the field (27-for-51). Saephan, who got six of his seven threes in the second half, topped all scorers with 23. Daniel Levine added 21 points and a team-high seven rebounds.Despite the loss, Kissinger pointed out what he sees as a couple of future standouts. Sophomore Tim Gabelein pulled down four rebounds and blocked a shot while freshman Brandon Turner made his varsity debut. Tim's an example for every kid in the program who wants to play, said Kissinger. He's the most coachable kid we have. By the time he's done with his career, people will be talking about him for years to come. He just has a great attitude. Brandon did a great job. He held Bennum scoreless for the three and a half minutes he was in there and didn't turn the ball over once. To see a 14-year-old out there against some good athletes from Meridian was pretty amazing. He's our point guard for next year.Box ScoreSouth Whidbey 19 9 17 17 4 - 66Meridian 18 11 11 5 - 67Scoring: Saephan 23, Levine 21, Nehf 9, Watson 6, Moote 4, Gabelein 3."

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