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Hot-handed Wildcats handle Falcons
LANGLEY — Scoring was almost as simple as putting up a shot for the Archbishop Murphy boys basketball team Friday night.
The Wildcats sank 13-of-24 three-point shots and dropped the Falcons, 85-53. It was a night where the Wildcats couldn’t miss, and the Falcons couldn’t slow them.
“They just shot the lights out,” said Falcon junior Nick French.
“We have to deny on the wings more, stick to our guy.”
Archbishop Murphy (4-2 Cascade Conference; 5-4 overall) took an early lead and never lost it to South Whidbey. By halftime, the Wildcats scored six three-point field goals and held a 10-point edge at 41-31 that only grew in the second half. It was the second game in a row that Archbishop Murphy burst for more than 80 points, the other was against Coupeville, an 87-44 rout.
“We’ve been blessed the last couple outings to put up some points,” said Wildcat head coach Jamar Williams.
Putting on a show in the second quarter was Wildcat junior Connor Longoria. He scored all of his game-high 17 points in the second quarter. Longoria opened the quarter with a three-pointer from the corner and continued to hit from beyond the arch.
“We used him as an example,” Williams said. “He was working hard at both ends of the court.”
South Whidbey (1-5 Cascade Conference; 3-8 overall) hung around midway into the third quarter. Cutting into the lead was paramount for the Falcons coming out of halftime. Against the Wildcats’ zone defense, the Falcons attacked the rim behind French and junior Brandon Asay. The conference rivals traded baskets until Wildcat senior Zander Clouse slipped behind his defender for a quick layup that put his team up 12 points. That was the closest South Whidbey came to the lead the rest of the game.
“Every game we’ve played this season comes down to half-court offense and if we can execute,” French said.
“It’s just one run. A lot of basketball games are decided by one run.”
By the fourth quarter, Archbishop Murphy led by 21 points and quickly put in its reserves. Even with the backups in with about 5:30 left, the Wildcats poured in 14 points - two more than the Falcons did the entire fourth quarter. South Whidbey received its biggest ovation when senior reserve forward Chase Collins entered the game and scored on quick turnaround layup.
The Falcons used another new lineup, this time starting sophomore Parker Collins in place of junior Nick Bennett. Collins finished with 8 points. Senior point guard Sam Turpin returned from vacation and came off the bench per team rules and coach Henry Pope’s decision. French led the Falcons with 16 points, followed by Asay with 13 points, including one of the two three-point buckets by the Falcons. Falcon junior reserve Nate Hanson scored the other three pointer.