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Boys dinged by Kings
Ducking under, running through and, when necessary, smacking into a wall of defenders, Dustin Sidhu, Matt Parrick, Tanner McInerney, Duncan Adams, Andrew Hosmer, Josh Gulvin and Ian Ward may have been the hardest working guys in basketball Friday night.
Matched against the highest flying, fastest breaking team in the Cascade Conference Kings Garden seven South Whidbey Falcons made a game of in front of a packed house at Erikson Gymnasium. But they had nowhere near what it took to pull off an upset, especially when Kings clamped down on defense. In a 58-39 contest that took Kings to 3-0 in the conference, the Falcons brought their best play to the court, only to be worn down by games end.
Limited to a 10-of-38 night from the field by Kings, the Falcons had to work for every point they got. Forced into an elaborate passing offense to work around Kings in-your-face zone defense, the South Whidbey boys exercised great patience in the first half as they attempted to lull Kings into complacency before every drive to the hole.
The strategy worked early, with the Falcons staying close in a 17-13 first quarter. Even at the half, it seemed the Falcons would stay within striking distance. Down 29-21 with the final seconds ticking off, the team seemed to get a big morale boost when Sidhu put up a half court shot from the point guards position. The shot dropped in as the buzzer sounded, but game officials negated it, saying the shot came after the buzzer. The call drew a long round of boos from Falcon fans.
Fortunately for South Whidbey, the officials were somewhat more charitable in the second half. Limited to dismal 2-of-17 shooting from the field in the half, the Falcons went to the line for every other point they made. But here, too, the polish of Kings play shone through: Though the Falcons had more chances at the free throw line, going 18-for-31, Kings was almost perfect with a 19-for-23 free throw tally.
Still, the Falcons kept banging away at it. Team coach Andy Davis said his players were able to penetrate the Kings defense in the second half, taking most of their shots from inside the key. Unfortunately for the team, they were so harried by defenders, almost every shot went wide.
The Falcons also lost their scoring punch as Kings tired them out. Sidhu, who has led his team all season in scoring, even paid the price after playing an aggressive first half; Davis said that without impact players to give Sidhu a break, the Falcon senior started losing his legs in the second half of the game.
On the night, Joey Kennard of Kings led all scorers with 17; Sidhu was tops for South Whidbey with 11.
Despite the loss, Coach Davis was optimistic. With key players including Tanner McInerney and junior Duncan Adams back in the lineup after sitting on the bench in December, he said the Falcons are raising their level of play.
This is really a good team that will finish in the top half of the league, he said.
The Falcons are now 2-7 overall and 0-2 in Cascade Conference play.