Falcon girls stop Coupeville

First, the Falcon girls took the cake. Then they ate it, too.

After winning a 47-39 game over Coupeville in the first round of the Falcon Classic basketball tournament Friday night, South Whidbey's girls took advantage of a Wolves tradition. The Wolves bring a cake to every game they play. If they win, they get to eat it. If they lose, they have to give it to their opponents.

Friday was the first time this season the Coupeville girls went to bed without dessert. Though they came to Erikson Gymnasium with a 6-0 record in 1A play, they could not come up with the points to keep their baked goods against a 2-5 South Whidbey team that rediscovered the joy of rebounding after a five-game losing streak.

Sticky-fingered senior forward Melissa Poolman provided the key to the win by making sure every loose ball wound up in her hands. Her 22 rebounds and five steals gave the Falcons the shooting chances they needed to win a game that was in serious doubt as late as the start of the fourth quarter. Though the Falcons took the lead early, the Wolves, led by shooting ace Ashley Bagby, were not easily intimidated. Falcon guard Julie Robinson still tried by hitting a three pointer as time ran out in the first quarter to give her team a 9-4 lead. Aimee Dumke did the same in the second. She netted a quarter-closing long shot with 15 second remaining in the half, giving the Falcons a 20-14 edge.

But in the third quarter, the Wolves came back. Fighting a rough battle that sent girls tumbling to the boards every few minutes, the Coupeville girls limited South Whidbey shooters in the third quarter as they piled on 15 points to knot the contest at 29-29.

But they failed to account for the Wick factor. After suffering through several games in which her point totals made little difference, senior post Hilary Wick pounded down 12 fourth-quarter points on her way to a 24 total. That scoring spark added to the two free throws and single field goal provided by Poolman late in the game iced the game and the Wolves cake.

Falcon Coach Sam Lee said that while his team hit its average of 18 turnovers -- about a half-dozen too many in his mind -- his girls played some of their best ball of the year.

"When it finally came to crunch time, we stepped up and made the plays we needed to," he said.

The Falcon JV team was also a winner against Coupeville, taking a 42-33 win over Coupeville's cub team.

Both the Falcon teams advanced to Saturday's tournament championship games against Sequim.

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