Sports

South Whidbey girls hoops’ defense sinks Friday Harbor

South Whidbey junior Madi Boyd drives inside the key against Friday Harbor senior Jean Melborne on Saturday. Boyd helped steady the Falcons’ offense after an error-filled start.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
South Whidbey junior Madi Boyd drives inside the key against Friday Harbor senior Jean Melborne on Saturday. Boyd helped steady the Falcons’ offense after an error-filled start.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

LANGLEY — South Whidbey’s girls basketball team needed a couple of minutes Saturday.

Maybe first home game nerves or fatigue took their toll. Whatever the reason, Friday Harbor opened the non-conference game on a 5-0 run before South Whidbey shot its way to victory, 33-22.

“In the locker room we talked about taking better care of the ball on offense,” said Falcon junior Madi Boyd.

“It just took us a minute to get into the game.”

South Whidbey settled into the game by the second quarter. And it was the Falcons’ veteran play that led the way.

Trailing 10-9, Boyd stole the ball on defense. Ellie Greene, a senior Falcon co-captain, hit a pull-up jumpshot in the key, which put South Whidbey ahead 11-10. The Falcons extended their lead from there.

“We moved the ball a lot better than we used to,” said Falcon senior Hayley Newman, also a team captain.

Friday Harbor (0-1 overall) again lost the ball in a game that could have been billed as a baker’s heyday the way both teams made turnovers. South Whidbey (2-1 overall) just weathered the storm.

Newman hit a long jumpshot to push her team’s lead to 13-10 before South Whidbey closed out the first half on a 3-1 run, only allowing one point in the final five minutes.

“We are pretty good at getting shots off on the wing because we have shooters like Ellie and Hayley,” Boyd said, crediting the senior shooters and increasing the team’s defensive pressure for the point swing.

Newman’s layup gave the Falcons a 10-point cushion in the third quarter. Then she padded her stats with a steal on defense, a drive to the hoop for a layup and a free throw, doubling the Wolverines’ points, 26-13.

Late in the third quarter, Boyd grabbed a rebound and bolted down the court. Three Wolverine defenders had recovered and met her in the key, but not before Boyd kicked across the baseline to reserve junior Meagan Longdon for an uncontested layup.

“I was aiming to penetrate and kick,” Boyd said. “I knew Meagan was there.”

Friday Harbor cut into South Whidbey’s double-digit lead late in the game, but never came closer than 13 points until a layup by Wolverine sophomore Madden Shanks with less than 30 seconds left against South Whidbey’s reserve players.

Seven Falcons scored against the Wolverines. Newman and Greene led with 10 points each, sharing game-high scoring.

South Whidbey travels to face Seattle Academy today and hosts King’s in the Cascade Conference opener at 6:45 p.m. Friday.

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