Falcon girls split two games to open hoop season

"Falcon Jaci Gutzmer drives and prepares to pass the ball to an open Hayley Gabelein waiting under the basket in Saturday night action against Bellevue Christian.Jim Larsen / staff photosFalcon girls basketballFriday's game--South Whidbey 55, Coupeville 61Scoring: Wick 24, Gabelein 18, J. Robinson 6, Gutzmer 3, Watson 2, Poolman 1, Johnson 1.Saturday's game--South Whidbey 64, Bellevue Christian 47Scoring: Wick 18, J. Robinson 10, K. Robinson 2, Binford 5, Gabelein 9, Watson 2, Poolman 9, Johnson 2.One weekend and the preseason is over. This week the South Whidbey girls basketball team enters competition in the North Cascades 2A Conference.League's here and it's for real, said coach Nancy Ricketts on Monday, after reviewing the two-game preseason held Friday and Saturday. From now on, most of the Falcons' games will count in the league standings.This Friday the Falcons will find out what Lynden Christian is made of when they play on the Lyncs' court. Chances are, the Lyncs will be good. They lost four of their five starters from last year's league championship team, but they always have plenty of talent. Saturday night, the Falcons return to Erikson Gymnasium to meet the Sultan Turks at 7:30 p.m.South Whidbey lost a wild opening game at Coupeville on Friday. The Wolves' Brianne King was torrid in the first half, scoring 18 points in the second quarter alone. She scored only three in the second half but they counted big -- her trey gave the Wolves the lead after South Whidbey had tied it 55-55 on Hayley Gabelein's three-point bomb.The Falcons went on to lose 61-55, but coach Ricketts was impressed that they overcame opening game jitters and an 18-point deficit to tie it up. We adjusted in the second half, she said. I'm real proud of their effort and determination. It'll help us down the road. The comeback was sparked by fine team passing that resulted in scoring by Julie Robinson, Gabelein and Hilary Wick. It was a total team effort, said Ricketts.Saturday the young Falcon squad was more relaxed, with one game under their belts and playing in front of a home crowd. They made short work of the Bellevue Christian Crusaders, building up a 23-11 lead after one quarter and never giving it up. The final was 64-47.Wick dominated the inside and scored 12 of her 18 points in the first quarter. Two fouls put her on the bench for most of the second period, but her teammates continued to increase the lead.We had a real quick start and maintained it, Ricketts said. We showed a lot more confidence. The coach was particularly pleased that nine of her players scored in a balanced offensive attack. Julie Robinson, a sophomore, scored 10, while Gabelein and Melissa Poolman scored 9 apiece.Hilary (Wick) played good, Ricketts said. She's the anchor of our team. "

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