Late rally too late against Mount Baker

Down by more than 20 points and with their coach sitting down after taking a technical foul, the Falcon girls could have just walked through fourth quarter Tuesday night.

But after scoring in the single digits in the first and second quarters and just making 10 points in the third, the South Whidbey girls decided it was better to fight.

Making their biggest comeback of the year, the Falcons piled on 22 points in the final eight minutes against Mount Baker in the Mountaineers' own gymnasium. Though it wasn't enough to bring the game back -- the Falcons would lose 60-48 -- it got the attention of both the opposition and their coach.

"Somehow, they came alive," said Falcon coach Howard Collier. "It was a heck of a comeback."

Led by Julie Robinson, who scored 11 after failing to make a single basket in the first quarter, and Bronwyn Russell and Amy Dumke with 10 points apiece, the Falcons showed once again that they are a team to be feared in the North Cascades Conference. But at 3-10 in the NCC, they've also wound up on the short side of the scoring equation a few too many times to be anything but an outside contender for a district playoff spot.

With the season on the line, South Whidbey needed a win Tuesday. Although mathematically they could still pass Meridian and Mount Baker in the season standings by winning their final three games, they would need a lot of help from the Trojans and Mountaineers.

They didn't get any help Tuesday. Mount Baker got ahead early, then pressed the Falcons hard to stay ahead. Using their guards to trap South Whidbey point guard Russell at half court repeatedly, they prevented the Falcons from getting into any kind of offensive rhythm for most of the game. Collier said that at one point the Mountaineers were able to gap his girls by 29 points.

Forced to sit on a technical foul after questioning a couple of calls, Collier said he was encouraged to watch the Falcons pick up their game and make a late run.

Next week, the Falcons play Lynden Christian on the road Tuesday, then come home Friday for their final game in Erikson Gymnasium this season.

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