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Girls engineer another escape
The South Whidbey High School girls basketball team just doesnt do anything easily.
Against an opponent they had already beaten this season, the Falcons might have surprised themselves when they fought off both momentum and poor fourth quarter shooting at home Saturday.
Hosting Coupeville at Erikson Gymnasium, the Falcon girls initially made it look easy in front of their hometown crowd. In the first quarter, they outscored the Wolves 17-9, and looked to be on track for their second 60-plus point game this season. But the second quarter saw the South Whidbey offense begin to fold up, as Coupeville brought the game within three at the half on a 24-21 score.
The halftime break improved South Whidbeys fortunes, as they turned their shooting game back on to score 14 and go up 38-26. But no sooner had the quarter ended the Falcons did their second Jekyl-Hyde transformation of the afternoon. For the next 9 minutes and 40 seconds, the team foundered under the basket, putting up just four points as the Wolves brought the score to 42-40.
Falcon coach John Pyrtek said Coupeville was in the drivers seat at that point. With the momentum behind them, the Wolves pressed the Falcons on defense as the game entered its final 40 seconds. Coming out of a timeout called to break that momentum, senior Danielle Burton chose to go over the Coupeville defense rather than through it, shooting a three-pointer that gave her team a 45-40 lead.
Then, on the ensuing inbounding pass, South Whidbey stole the ball back and fed it to the teams leading scorer, junior Caitie Newman. Newman then took the ball to the hole and made the layin in a crowd, drawing a foul in the process. She would go on to make the free throw and give her team a 48-40 victory.
Coach Pyrtek gave additional credit for the win to juniors Britta Madison and Sara Hicks, who were assigned to cover Coupeville scoring threat Lexie Black. They held Black to just six points after shutting her out in the first half. Black scored 28 against South Whidbey on Nov. 30.
The girls are now 3-1 overall.
In junior varsity action, the Falcons beat Coupeville 32-30. Megan Rawls was the leading scorer with 11. The JV team is also 3-1 on the season.
The Falcons play next on Saturday when Ellensburg visits Erikson Gymnasium.