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Falcon boys in close hoop contests

"Falcon boys basketballFriday's game -- Coupeville 73, S. Whidbey 67Scoring: Turner 15, T. Gabelein 14, Ellis 12, B. Perkins 7, Coleman 6, B. Gabelein 5, Helland 4, Gathings 4Rebounds: T. Gabelein 7, B. Gabelein 5Saturday's game-- B. Christian 78, S. Whidbey 65Scoring: T. Gabelein 26, Helland 9, Spivikov 8, Turner 8, B. Perkins 8, B. Gabelein 4, Gathings 2Rebounds: T. Gabelein 10, B. Gabelein 6, Coleman 5 Playing their first road and home games of the season last weekend, the South Whidbey High School boys basketball team proved they can play pretty well for a bunch of rookies.Led by new coach Andy Davis, the all-new Falcons played solidly in two close losses and showed their fans that they will be an exciting team to watch this year.On Friday, the South Whidbey boys lost a 73-67 contest against Coupeville, then came back to play strong in a 78-65 loss to a tough Bellevue Christian team Saturday night.In their matchup against the Wolves, the Falcons got their traveling fans off to an exciting start. In the first quarter on Coupeville's home court, Tim Gabelein, George Spivikov and Trevor Ellis paced the South Whidbey offense to a quick 10 point advantage as the team perched itself atop a 24-14 lead. The team lost ground in the second and third quarters, but played close enough to maintain a 55-49 edge by the end of three.But with a win within their grasp, foul trouble grounded the Falcons. Both Tim Gabelein and Nick Helland were forced to sit out the fourth quarter after fouling out with four minutes to go. Without them, the offense lost its momentum, and the Wolves piled it on 23-12 to secure the 73-67 win.Coach Davis said his team could not have played the game much better. His players spread the ball around, with eight of nine varsity players scoring. Three players -- Tim Gabelein, Spivikov, and Ellis -- made it into double figures. Davis also gave his players credit for knocking the Wolves back on their heels almost immediately when they scored on each of their first seven possessions.The next evening, the Falcons played almost the opposite game against Bellevue Christian. At home in Erikson Gymnasium, the Falcons fell behind in the early going and were at a 45-30 disadvantage by halftime. In those first two quarters, Tim Gabelein was about the only thing going for the Falcons, as he was on his way to a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds.Both the Falcon offense and defense solidified in the second half. Brett Perkins, Nick Helland, Brandon Turner, and George Spivikov all stepped up to score and grab a few boards. They paced the team to a 14-14 third quarter, then started to push back against Bellevue Christian in the fourth quarter. But a 21-19 winning quarter was not enough to get ahead, so the Falcons fell short in a 78-65 final.Davis said Bellevue Christian hurt his team in two ways. First, they changed their defensive strategy regularly, switching between man-to-man, zone and other schemes to keep the Falcons off balance. On offense, the team did not give up the ball, turning it over just 11 times during the game.Also hampering the Falcons was a shoulder injury Trevor Ellis suffered early in the game. Davis said he hopes the double-digit scorer bounces back soon.The Falcons play next on Friday at home. The 7:30 p.m. game will be the first North Cascades Conference matchup of the season, with Lynden Christian rolling into town. The freshman and junior varsity squads play at 5:45 p.m. "

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