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Falcon girls flail in blowout by Red Wolves’ defensive prowess
LANGLEY — There was an unscheduled clinic on how, and how not, to play basketball Tuesday night.
Cedarcrest’s girls team pressed South Whidbey from the opening play and never quit. The Red Wolves drove to the basket and were rewarded with 20 trips to the free throw line, where they hit 14.
South Whidbey turned the ball over almost every way it could: offensive foul, five-second violation and the classic poor pass. The result was a 64-26 shellacking that made the referees initiate the running clock mercy rule in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t play our best defense,” said Falcon senior Annalies Schuster, who scored six points. “Just not full effort.”
While the Falcons’ offense sputtered, so went their defense. A common play for the Red Wolves was to grab a rebound off a missed Falcon shot, throw across midcourt to the outlet guard for an easy layup. It worked well enough for Red Wolves junior guard Kalee Fowler, who poured in a game-high 20 points.
Fouls dictated the game early. A pair of fouls put Falcon point guard Madi Boyd on the bench. By the end of the first quarter, South Whidbey trailed 17-7 and wracked up eight team fouls.
South Whidbey tried to fight back early in the second quarter. The Falcons scored on back-to-back possessions and kept the Red Wolves scoreless on three shots at the hoop. Sophomore Anne Madsen drove to the basket and nailed a layup to cut the lead to single digits. Schuster stole the ball on defense that led to senior Hayley Newman being fouled on a layup attempt. Newman, who scored a team-high eight points, converted both free throws.
Falcon senior Ellie Greene took a charge on defense that seemed to inspire her teammates. Schuster banked in a layup off the square on a baseline pass that cut the lead to six points.
But the Red Wolves’ fierce rebounding and defense wore down the Falcons, and 19-13 was the closest South Whidbey came to the lead.
“It’s just that their shots went in and ours didn’t,” Schuster said.
At halftime, the Falcons had committed 18 turnovers against the Red Wolves’ three. Cedarcrest returned from the break determined to throttle South Whidbey and continued its press defense and transition offense. The Red Wolves scored 23 points in the third quarter. The Falcons mustered only six.
The referees instituted the running clock mercy rule at the start of the fourth quarter. Only time outs and injuries stopped the clock, and mercifully for South Whidbey, the final buzzer.