Sports

Falcon boys split opening pair of games

The Falcons have found a scoring leader.

Taking the court in their first two games this season — first on Dec. 2 against Anacortes, then on Dec. 5 against Port Townsend — the South Whidbey boys basketball team found someone who can go to the hole and produce big points. That someone is senior Kyle McGillen.

Against Anacortes, which beat the Falcons 69-43 in the season opener on the road, McGillen had the hot hand for his team, putting up 23 points in his best scoring performance as a varsity player to date. Then, in South Whidbey’s 53-34 win over Port Townsend on Dec. 5, McGillen went one better, leading his team with 26 points, eight steals and eight rebounds.

“He’s done well in his first two games,” said a cautiously optimistic Andy Davis, the Falcons’ coach.

While McGillen was doing the scoring work out front, the Falcons learned early what their strengths and weaknesses as a team were. At Anacortes, they were victimized for 10 turnovers in the first quarter, which turned into an 18-7 disadvantage by the end of the period. For the game, the Falcons gave the ball up 25 times, compared to the 15 they forced. At the same time, they finished the game with a 33 percent shooting average.

“We lost because we turned the ball over,” said Davis. “They did a good job of keeping us from getting into our offense.”

Still, against a 3A school like Anacortes, Davis said his team otherwise played well. Largely shut out of the lane, the Falcons took to perimeter shooting. In addition to McGillen, senior Travis Tornga was South Whidbey’s other producer, putting up 11 for the game.

Things turned around for the team three days later when they visited 2A Port Townsend. Grabbing a 17-10 lead in the first quarter, the Falcons did not allow their opponents to outscore them in a single quarter. Seven Falcons wound up scoring in the game, with Tornga again backing McGillen with 10 points.

But Davis said it was his team’s defense, not offense, that really put the game into the “W” column.

“Our press on the ball just hurt them,” he said.

For the game, the Falcons forced 24 turnovers, which Davis said turned into “easy buckets.” He gave credit to junior Austin Reisman for his play, which brought the team several rebounds, steals and nine points.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 20 edition online now. Browse the archives.