Falcons tag Turks to finish 2003

Thanks to a jump start by hot shooters in the first half, the Falcon boys basketball team easily held off the visiting Sultan Turks 52-40 Friday in South Whidbey’s final home game of the year.

One of those leading the charge was senior guard Kyle McGillen, who led Falcon scoring with 22 points. Assisting him with the first-half push was senior guard Travis Tornga, who scored eight of his 16 points in the first quarter.

The Falcons came out of the first quarter with an 8-7 lead over Sultan. But it was in the second quarter that South Whidbey went into overdrive. The Falcons outscored the Turks 21-10 in the second period to go into the locker room at halftime with a 29-17 lead.

Hard work and hustle on the part of the Falcons helped give South Whidbey the edge between the two evenly matched teams, said head coach Andy Davis.

South Whidbey’s scoring force in the game was strong and spread out over the roster. Barely a quarter of the way through the season, each game the Falcon players are rotating scoring bragging rights with a strong bench that can get the baskets.

Those contributing to the victory included senior Austin Reisman with seven points, junior Tanner McInerney with three, and junior Dustin Sidhu and senior Reed Dettrich with two each.

However, when the teams stepped onto the court in the third quarter, South Whidbey began to make mistakes that tightened the score and could have cost them the lead. The Falcons tallied 15 turn-overs in the second half.

“We turned the ball over more than we should,” Davis said. “We just weren’t able to take care of the ball as well as we should have, and that takes away from the rhythm of the game.”

That first-half margin was to be the final margin, as Sultan stayed with the Falcons throughout the second half. Each team tallied six points in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth.

Leading scorers for the Turks were senior Josh Jacobsen with nine points, senior Adam McPherson with seven and junior Caleb Barnhill with six for the evening.

Helping to steal away possible Turk points were the Falcon’s leading rebounders McGillen with 12 grabs and senior Nick LaVassar with eight.

The only moderate shakeups in the other wise tame play of the matchup came in the fourth quarter.

A miscommunication between the officials and players created a pause in the game after Falcon forward Nick LaVassar went for a rebound off the first of what the officials decided should have been two Turk free throws.

“He went for it like he should have,” Davis said.

Following a lengthy talk between officials and then with coaches, play resumed.

Shortly after, Reisman got tangled up with a Sultan player after the two went for a loose ball.

“Both of them cooled down in a hurry,” Davis said.

Previously, the atmosphere on the court could have been different between the two teams.

“After the game the guys were commenting on how much they had fun,” Davis said. “Other years those incidents in the fourth quarter might have escalated.”

Learning from the team’s mistakes Friday and working to not give turnovers will be some of the things the Falcons will put into focus when they return to the practice court Monday.

“The good things about Christmas break is that there’s nothing else to distract the guys but practice,” Davis said.

The coach said he plans to bring the team back to the fundamentals of the game and fine-tune a few things, as it is still early in the season.

Friday’s win brings South Whidbey to a record of 2-1 in league and 3-3 overall.

After the break, the Falcons host Foster in a non-conference game Jan. 3.

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