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Granite Falls escapes Falcons' grasp

"Brandon Turner runs clear of the Granite Falls defense Tuesday night to get into scoring range in the third quarter.Matt Johnson, staff photoEven with the help of a 21-point scoring performance by junior Tim Gabelein and two three-point plays in the last 3 minutes of the game, South Whidbey High School's boy basketball players could not get past Granite Falls Tuesday as they lost their tenth game of the season 47-41. In a game that was as close as any they have played this season, the Falcons went talon to claw against the Tigers in a defensive struggle. Scoring was low for both teams in the first half, but Granite Falls got ahead and stayed ahead to reach halftime with a 24-14 lead.The contest heated up in the third quarter when an inspired South Whidbey offense led by Tim Gabelein and Trevor Ellis outscored the Tigers 14-8. Less than four minutes into the quarter, the Falcons pulled as close as they would all night, closing to 25-26. But the Granite Falls offense started coming alive late in the quarter and into the fourth quarter, knocking the Falcons 10 points behind at one point.Gabelein and junior George Spivikov tried to make up for the deficit in the final few minutes of the game. With 3:33 to go Gabelein scored a field goal through a Tiger foul, setting him up to complete a 3-point play with a free throw to bring the score to 34-42. A minute later, Gabelein was again fouled and went 2-for-2 from the line to make the score 36-44. He finished his night 30 seconds later with a field goal, then watched as Spivikov made the same three-point play he did minutes earlier.Their efforts did not get them close enough, nor could the Falcons wrest control of the ball from the Tigers in the last 45 seconds of play.Falcon coach Andy Davis said the game was his team's best defensive effort of the season.We were able to contain ballhandlers so many of their shots came from outside the key, he said. "

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