Loss, victory keep girls in NCC running

One bad first quarter last Tuesday and another close call Friday may have had the Falcon girls running and shooting scared last week, but at least they are still in playoff contention.

Playing two road basketball games last week, the South Whidbey girls experienced mixed fortunes as they suffered a close, 48-41 loss to Nooksack, then took a 54-52 victory over Sultan on a near-last-second field goal by junior Danielle Burton.

Though the two games ended differently, they had slumping offenses in common. Against the Pioneers, South Whidbey managed only six points to Noooksack’s 14 to open Tuesday’s game, an eight-point disadvantage that kept them down to game’s end. Providing much of the shooting power during the remainder of the game were sophomores Caitie Newman with 13 and Marcella Litwiller with 9.

Against Sultan, the Falcons should have expected another close contest after beating the Turks at home 72-70 on Jan. 13. In this game, South Whidbey picked the third quarter as the place to fall apart. After taking a 33-30 halftime lead in the midst of a loud Sultan crowd, the Falcons could only come up with four third-quarter points. Luckily for them, the Turks only made nine of their own.

In the fourth, South Whidbey played the Turks to a tie into the final minute. With four seconds to go and the score at 52-52, Danielle Burton saved her team from having to go into overtime by putting up a field goal to ice the game.

Keeping their team in the game throughout were Newman and senior Bronwyn Russell. Russell led all scorers with 20, while Newman had 14 on the night.

Now 5-5 in the North Cascades Conference and 6-8 overall, the Falcon girls stand at fifth place in the conference rankings. They come back to South Whidbey for their second-to-last home game of the season on Feb. 10 to take on the NCC’s third-best team, Mount Baker.

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