Girls lose tight basketball contest at Lakewood

"Junior Melissa Poolman dribbles on a breakaway in last week's game against Blaine.Matt Johnson, staff photoFalcon girls basketballS. Whidbey 8 -10 -12 -14 -- 44Lakewood 5 -11 -14 -17 -- 47Scoring: Wick 18, Gutzmer 10, J. Robinson 8, Johnson 4, Watson 2, Poolman 2If close basketball games are the best learning experience players can have, the South Whidbey girls should be geniuses at the game by season's end.On the road Friday, the Falcons went point-for-point with Lakewood in a game that did not let the pressure drop until the final buzzer. Unfortunately, the Falcons did not have the sort of luck with Lakewood that it had with Blaine in an overtime win earlier in the week. In the end it was Lakewood with the advantage and the 47-44 win in the North Cascades Conference game.The contest was one of size against speed. The Falcons had the size and used it to pull ahead of the shorter Lakewood team 18-16 by the halftime break. The Falcons' biggest player, Hilary Wick, was a big part of that difference, as she was on her way to a game-high 18 points.But in the third quarter, Lakewood's only big player, 5-11 Stephanie Anderson, scored eight of her 11 team-high points to pull the score to 30-30. The close score gave the Lakewood players more confidence for the final quarter. They outrebounded the Falcons and pulled to the winning three-point lead in the closing seconds.Falcon coach Nancy Ricketts said her team's intensity level was not what it needed to be to win such a close game. That, she said, was another lesson her young team needed to learn.The Falcons play next at the Falcon Classic on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29. The tournament starts at 2 p.m. both days. South Whidbey plays its first game on Dec. 28 against Lynnwood at 6 p.m. "

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