Lead lost, boys fall to Lyncs

Nothing but tough Friday night, the Falcon boys couldn’t have had a better game in front of a home crowd against Lynden Christian. Unless, of course, they’d been able to win.

Behind the scoring power of seniors Travis Tornga and Kyle McGillen and on top of one of their finest defensive efforts of the season thus far, the South Whidbey boys were almost giant killers against the team that is widely recognized as the biggest and tallest in the North Cascades Conference.

But when it came time to count up the points at the final buzzer, the Falcons had another one just slip away as the Lyncs came back from a four-point deficit at the half to win 56-50.

To start the night, the Falcons played the Lyncs tight, feeding Tornga and McGillen consistently while keeping the ball away from Lynden Christian’s top scorers, Kyle Coston and Greg Burgers. The two Falcon seniors set a torrid scoring pace, with Tornga netting 19 points and McGillen 15.

Taking a one-point advantage in the first quarter, the Falcons got the kind of start they needed. But they were not able to definitively turn the momentum of the game in their favor. They took three more points out of the Lyncs in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 27-23 lead. That was slim by the standards of North Cascades Conference competition.

“It was just a tough battle all night,” said Falcon coach Andy Davis after the game.

In the third quarter, it was luck — not heart or desire — that failed South Whidbey. As the Lyncs spread their scoring among a number of players (three would finish the night in double figures), South Whidbey continued to rely on Tornga and McGillen. So when a few easy shots didn’t make it into the basket, the Falcons began to suffer for the lack of a point cushion.

Still, South Whidbey was in the game. Using its lineup of big players, including 6-2 Tanner McInerney, 6-6 Paul Edgeman and 6-3 Dustin Sidhu, the Falcons kept the pressure on through the fourth quarter, keeping pace but never making up ground in the 22-19 period.

Ultimately, the game came down to rebounding. The Lyncs came up with the ball 11 more times than South Whidbey, and used the advantage to generate just a few more points.

In terms of shooting from the field, the two teams were near equals as South Whidbey went 17-for-28 and the Lyncs made 14 of their 23 attempts.

South Whidbey had the advantage in 3-point shots as McGillen made two and Tornga made one to Lynden Christian’s zero.

The Falcons will see the now 3-3, 4-5 Lyncs again on Feb. 17. Between now and then, the team will continue to work on making the best of its matchups. It will just be a little tough to come up with any real surprises for the next game.

“There’s no secrets in our league,” said Coach Davies.

The Falcons are now 2-4 in the NCC and 3-5 overall.

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