COUPEVILLE — Against their rivals, the Falcon boys hoops squad fired on all cylinders.
South Whidbey ended its losing streak Friday night with a 57-37 drubbing of Coupeville in the first of two annual Highway 525 clashes.
It was a showcase of South Whidbey’s potential when turnovers are limited and the defense holds.
“Usually I don’t look for- ward to playing Coupeville, but I’m glad,” said Falcon senior Sam Turpin. “We needed the win.”
South Whidbey gained a 12-point advantage late in the first quarter. Press defense by the Falcons forced 12 turnovers in the first half.
The Falcons scored on their first possession and lost the lead only once, at 3-2. The Wolves came closest at 16-8, but never threatened. Turpin was integral in fueling the Falcons’ offense. South Whidbey hammered Coupeville in the paint, with the Falcon guards crashing for rebounds and scoring put- back layups.
Dominating inside play opened the perimeter for South Whidbey. On the last play of the first half, Turpin drilled a last-second three pointer and South Whidbey went into the halftime break with a 31-15 lead. Turpin fin- ished with 12 points, most on cuts to the hoop.
“When we set up and start playing really good basket- ball, it lets me play the way I learned to play basketball with cuts to the basket,” Turpin said.
He was aided by fellow senior Taylor Simmons, who only scored two points but dished out a handful of assists. Simmons attacked the paint, driving into the paint and passing to the wing for open shots, like the three pointer junior Brandon Asay drilled for a 26-11 lead in the second quarter.
“I’m quick, and I look for opportunities to get by my guy,” Simmons said.
“I love giving the other guys a chance to sink buckets.”
South Whidbey cruised through the second half and gave reserve players extended minutes. None enthused the smattering of Falcon fans more than senior forward Chase Collins, especially when he swatted Coupeville sophomore Carson Risner’s layup try, saving a fast break in the fourth quarter.
“I was pretty happy about that,” Collins said. “I turned around and told Nick (French), ‘That was really awesome.’”
Less than 18 hours later, the Falcons proved the win was no fluke with a 69-51 victory against the Overlake Owls (3-5 overall), giving South Whidbey (1-2 Cascade Conference; 3-5 overall) its first winning streak of the season.
“If we can keep pressureo on teams and keep them under 50 points, that will be a recipe for success,” Turpin said.
South Whidbey hosted Lakewood (1--2 Cascade Conference; 2-4 overall) on Tuesday after the Record went to press.