Falcon girls in do-or-die mode

Karen Schwager puts up airtight defense in the first half of the Falcons
Karen Schwager puts up airtight defense in the first half of the Falcons' game Friday against Mount Baker. South Whidbey held the Mountaineers to 15 points in the first half.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

Halfway through Friday’s game against Mount Baker, the Falcon girls had everything going for them.

Up 19-15 against a team with eight more conference wins than they had, the South Whidbey girls had nothing to lose. With the Borderites apparently slumbering two weeks after they clinched a district playoff spot, it seemed that tight defense and metered scoring in the second half would be enough to win. At home with the Big Blue crowd on their side, the game seemed to belong to South Whidbey.

It didn’t. The Mountaineers charged out of the locker room for the second half to put up 39 points and bury the stunned Falcons 54-36 in a game that was crucial for South Whidbey’s playoff chances.

Now 3-11 in North Cascades play, the Falcons need to win their last two games — Tuesday’s game against Meridian and Friday against 5-9 Granite Falls — to grab the last playoff spot in the NCC.

After watching his team fall apart against Mount Baker, Falcon Coach Sam Lee was concerned about the Falcons’ playoff chances. He said a “lack of effort” combined with poor defense and shooting production sunk the team in the final two periods. In the fourth quarter, Falcon shooters were able to muster only two field goals and one three-point shot.

“It’s disappointing as a coach,” Lee said.

Lee said he hoped to get his team inspired for a two-game run this week. Friday’s game against Granite Falls is the most important. The Falcons can effect a two-game swing in the matchup if they win.

That game, the season closer, starts at 7:30 p.m. at Granite Falls High School.

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