Sports

Closer, but not quite

Freshman Natasha Roberts brings the ball down against Archbishop Murphy on Jan. 17. Against the Wildcats on the road Friday, Roberts and the Falcons were more in control than in their previous meeting with Archbishop Murphy, but lost the game 59-39.  - Matt Johnson
Freshman Natasha Roberts brings the ball down against Archbishop Murphy on Jan. 17. Against the Wildcats on the road Friday, Roberts and the Falcons were more in control than in their previous meeting with Archbishop Murphy, but lost the game 59-39.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

A quick start and a better night on defense and bringing the ball up the court almost made up for a lack of offensive firepower last Friday for the Falcon girls.

At Archbishop Murphy for a shot at righting the wrongs of a 72-59 defeat at the hands of the Wildcats earlier in the week, the girls from South Whidbey made a good accounting of themselves in the early going.

But as it would turn out, getting up by a few points against an experienced team would not be enough to even the score between the two teams. The Wildcats easily outlasted the Falcons, winning 59-39 to sweep South Whidbey on the season.

From the opening tip off, the Falcons put into play lessons they had learned that previous Monday, giving the Wildcats no quarter under the basket and keeping the ball under control when driving up the floor. Under this strategy, the Falcons opened a 6-0 lead, then pushed to 8-2 in the early minutes.

But the Wildcats responded to the pressure. Led by Lisa Coate, who would go on to score 19 points in the game, Archbishop Murphy retook the momentum by scoring eight unanswered points to close the quarter and take a 10-8 lead.

From there, the Falcons were not able to stay close. With their leading scorer, junior Caitie Newman, on the bench with the flu, the South Whidbey girls were not able to put up enough points to match the Wildcats. A 19-10 Archbishop Murphy second quarter, then a 21-8 scoring flood in the third essentially put the game on ice for the Wildcats.

Falcon coach John Pyrtek said the bright spot in the game was the defensive show put on by senior Brianne Dumke. Guarding Wildcat ace Krista Eknes — who often scores over 20 points a game — Dumke held the damage to under 10 while she was on the floor. Ecknes would score a total of 14, picking up some of her points against Falcon substitutions.

Both teams played their reserves in the fourth quarter, in which South Whidbey made up a little ground by outscoring the Wildcats 13-8. Pyrtek said he put his reserves in when he noticed the Wildcats coach doing the same.

The Falcon girls are now 4-3 in Cascade Conference play and 7-7 on the season. They are in third place in the conference behind Kings and Archbishop Murphy.

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