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Gabelein's top effort leads Falcons over Sultan

"Senior Hayley Gabelein played the finest game of her career as she led South Whidbey to a 63-36 basketball win over Sultan Friday night, Jan. 26.Playing her best in front of the home crowd, Gabelein finished with a game-high 20 points to go with 10 rebounds. A dozen of those points came in the first quarter when Gabelein shot from outside with deadly accuracy.We found the open person and she was on fire, said Falcon coach Nancy Ricketts. She said Sultan started the game by double-teaming center Hilary Wick, and that left Gabelein open away from the basket.Sultan changed its strategy after falling behind 30-19 at halftime. In the third quarter they switched to man defense, but that strategy too blew up in the Turks' face. The 6-0 Wick had no trouble operating under the basket with only one defender, and she poured in 12 of her 16 points in the third stanza.It was one of our best games of the year, said Ricketts. She applauded the team for connecting on 15 of 19 free throw attempts and moving the ball exceptionally well. They looked inside and then outside, she said. Everything seemed to be working well.It was South Whidbey's third league win of the season and kept them in the hunt for a playoff spot. But they didn't help themselves Saturday night when the made the the long bus trip to the Canadian border to do battle with Blaine.They were a scrappy team and they played a good game, but our shots weren't dropping, said Ricketts. In losing 56-30, the Falcons failed to score in double figures in any quarter.Last night the Falcons hosted Lakewood in a game too late to include in today's paper. Then they have a week off due to South Whidbey's wrestling team hosting the league tournament this weekend. The Falcon girls see their next action Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Meridian. "

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