Slow Sultan halts South Whidbey

Whatever inspiration the Falcon girls found last week when they beat the Sultan 58-33 on the road was gone by the time the Turks' bus rolled up to South Whidbey High School Saturday afternoon.

In a game that started slow for both teams, then practically ground to a halt over the course of 32 minutes of playing time, the Falcons seemed to have the brakes on a little harder as they lost 38-35 in a game almost bereft of offense.

Free throws were the key to this game, since neither team seemed to be able to get out of its own way. For the Turks, fouls and trips to the line were a blessing. Having lost Thursday's game under a hail of Falcon three-pointers and field goals, a slower pace suited Sultan. The Turks made 14 of 16 free throws during the game, including two in the final 23 seconds by Sultan team captain Nicole Elliott.

The Falcons made their own gains from the line in the second quarter. Aside from two field goals from Bronwyn Russell and Catie Newman, South Whidbey earned its points from the charity line.

At this point, the playoff picture is bleak for the Falcons. At 2-9 in North Cascades Conference play, they have a single-game lead over 1-10 Sultan and are ranked eighth of ten teams. Of the five games remaining on the team's schedule are matchups with the top three teams in the NCC: Blaine, Lynden Christian and Granite Falls.

The girls play next on Thursday when Granite Falls comes to Erikson Gymnasium.

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