LANGLEY — Rolling into the District 1 sub-regional playoffs on a five-game losing streak was far from the script South Whidbey wrote.
Worse than that, the Falcons fell 63-52 on their senior night and regular season finale Friday. The contest against Granite Falls notched the Falcons’ losing streak at five games as they headed to the 1A playoffs. South Whidbey’s boys basketball team faced Meridian on Tuesday after the Record went to press.
Against Granite Falls last week, South Whidbey was again left in the dust in the second half. The Tigers roared out of halftime to a 15-point advantage, and the Falcons never came closer than five points to the lead.
This time, however, the Falcons struggled in the first half, too.
Paltry shooting in the first quarter gave the Tigers an 11-7 lead. South Whidbey failed to score for the first three minutes and trailed 5-0 at the start. But scoring came in bunches and within 60 seconds, the Falcons had scored five points on a low post move by sophomore Parker Collins and a three-point field goal by senior Sam Turpin.
Four minutes later, and Granite Falls had its first double-digit lead, 21-11. The Tigers tallied as much as a 26-11 lead in the first half before the Falcons rallied into halftime, 26-17. South Whidbey left a lot of points on the floor, converting only 8 of 16 free throw attempts by halftime.
Out of the break, Granite Falls went back to what worked: steals and transition points. The Tigers stole the ball on the Falcons’ first possession, which led to a free throw by junior Evan West, who finished with 10 points.
South Whidbey attempted a comeback after trailing 27-17. The Falcons looked to their dependable forwards, Collins and junior Nick French, who combined for 13 of their team’s 17 points in the third quarter. Collins muscled in a layup and hit a free throw, followed by a steal that led to a driving layup by French, who finished with a team-high 17 points. Alone, the forwards cut the score to 27-22, but South Whidbey never got closer to the lead as Granite Falls regained a 42-32 lead and never led by less than 10 points from there.
In the playoffs, South Whidbey had a rematch in the first round against Meridian. South Whidbey suffered its worst defeat of the year at Meridian, 82-35.