Falcons win big over Wolverines

The game was in doubt for only about two minutes Saturday.

After Friday Harbor guard Kiersten Radden drilled a three-pointer and the Wolverines led 3-0, it appeared the Falcon girls had a real fight on their hands.

But then Lindsey Newman slam dunked for two while Reilly O’Sullivan and Samantha Pope combined for a little grand theft b-ball and the Falcons won their first game of the year, 64-30.

OK, “slam dunked” may be a bit of overstatement, but watching the 5-foot-9 Newman’s absolute focus on making the bucket, it almost seemed that way.

“After the nerves went away, we played pretty good,” Newman said. “Our passing was better; the ball was getting to the right people.”

Newman said Friday Harbor tended to telegraph their passes, an absolute no-no.

The big news, though, was there were no heroes in the victory.

“I had 10 of 11 girls score today,” Falcon coach Henry Pope said. “Balanced scoring, team unity and speed made a big difference for us.

“Of course, their 30 fouls in the first half didn’t hurt, either.”

Granted, the girls were a little tentative at first, but they quickly became aggressive and focused. On rebounding, forcing turnovers, breaking the trap and sinking free throws, the Falcons were outstanding. Cayla Calderwood alone went six-for-six from the line in the first half.

“I’ve been practicing a lot and it paid off for me,” Calderwood said.

Wolverines Radden, Brooke Jangard and Kelsey O’Day played a hard, physical game under second-year coach Eric Jangard but they just didn’t have either the finesse or the firepower to get a positive groove underway on the court.

They were scrappy but outplayed by South Whidbey at every turn. At the half, the Falcons led 32-15.

“We know each other’s strong points and took advantage of that,” O’Sullivan said.

“And it wasn’t just one person,” Allison Wood added.

Friday Harbor was unable to control Newman, who scooped up four rebounds in the third quarter for the fast break and the score. Pope took her out of the game early to give others a chance to shine.

And they did; it was 47-23 at the start of the fourth period.

Finally, the Wolverines simply ran out of steam as the Falcons continued to rack up points en route to a 64-30 victory.

“It boosts everyone’s confidence to know we can win,” Katie Holt said. “I thought the Wolverine girls were very sportsmanlike considering the score.”

Pope named Newman and Samantha Pope as co-captains this season and their differing styles seems to be paying off.

“Lindsey is aggressive and pulls hard for the others to excel while Samantha pushes in a more gentle fashion,” Pope explained. “And it’s working.”

Newman led with 17 points, Chantal LaChausee made nine, Rachel Harris and Holt had seven each and Calderwood made six free throws. Harris had five steals on the day.

The girls are away until Jan. 4 when they welcome league opponent Cedarcrest to Erickson Gym.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-53000 or sports@south

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