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Nooksack finds Falcons' number-- twice
"If there is anything Falcon basketball player Kelsey Ellis did not want to do in the post season it was return to her home gym.It's not that she did not want the support of the home crowd. It's just that a game at home in the post season meant her team would be in a single-elimination district playoff bracket.Unfortunately, the Falcons fell into that bracket this week after losing two games in two nights to North Cascades rival Nooksack Valley. After beating the Pioneers in a Jan. 21 game, the South Whidbey's girls found themselves on the wrong end of revenge this week, losing an overtime contest 55-46 at Nooksack Tuesday, then faltering 66-46 in a Wednesday game in Mount Vernon. The two games gave Nooksack second place in the league and dropped the Falcons to third.In the first game, the Falcons and the Pioneers went toe-to-toe in the first half, evening out at 20 apiece by halftime. Early in the third quarter, the Falcons built an 8-point lead behind double-digit scoring performances by Kelsey Ellis, Sierra Tornga, and Hilary Wick. But Pioneer Shelly Harder used her big gun to counter the Falcon trio, pulling her team back into the game on her way to a 26-point performance. Down 43-39 with 47 seconds to go, the Falcons looked to Tornga, who hit a turnaround jumper for two. The Falcons got the ball back with four seconds remaining when Ellis was fouled in the offensive zone. She put away two free throws to force the tie.In overtime, the momentum crumbled for the Falcons after Tornga fell and hit her head on the court. The Pioneers cruised past, outscoring the Falcons 12-3 in the extra period.Game two was almost identical to game one on the Falcon side of the score card. South Whidbey came out a little faster in this game, putting up 27 points in the first half to Nooksack's 34. The third quarter was nearly dead even for the two teams, but early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons pulled within four points at 44-40. Again, the momentum shifted at a lousy time for South Whidbey. Nooksack put away two quick field goals, then shot 15 of 18 on free throws as the Falcons committed foul after foul trying to get the ball back.Falcon coach Nancy Ricketts said her team would shake off the two losses and concentrate on a home, bi-district tournament game Friday against Klohoywa. That game ended too late to publish results in this edition of the Record. Klohoywa plays in a 2A/3A/4A league including 1999 state champion Bainbridge. The team has a record this year of only 2-19.If the Falcons beat Klohoywa, they will play Port Townsend at Mt. Vernon High School on Wednesday. A win there would undoubtedly mean a showdown against North Cascades champion Lynden Christen in the Feb. 28 bi-district semifinal game. The Lyncs need only get past one opponent to make it to the semifinals.Box scoreTuesday's gameS. Whidbey 6 14 12 11 3 -- 46Nooksack 8 12 13 10 12 -- 55Scoring: Ellis 14, Tornga 13, Wick 12, Sievers 6, Poolman 1Wednesday's gameS. Whidbey 10 17 8 11 -- 46Nooksack 13 21 9 23 -- 66Scoring: Tornga 13, Wick 10, Ellis 9, Sievers 6, Waterman 6, Gabelein 2"