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Falcon girls fall to Shorecrest
The Shorecrest Scots came to town Friday with a stingy defense led by senior Mary Tseng, beating the South Whidbey girl's basketball team 62-51 for the Falcon's first loss of the season.
Tseng spent the evening demonstrating why she was chosen "player of the year" in 2004 by Cascade Conference coaches.
By the fourth quarter she was still heating up, shooting 16 out of 22 tries on repeated breakaways.
The Falcons started the game in high spirits with Caitie Newman getting the first two points from the free-throw line.
The girls kept the Scots at bay -- the score was 12-12 at the first break -- and were only two down at the half, 25-27.
Chris Harshman and the Falcon Pep Band kept the joint jumping for the cheer squad and several hundred fans in attendance.
As the second half began, the Scots instituted a theft patrol that created havoc for the home team. Call it grand theft Tseng, who was joined by felony takeaway teammates senior Roxanne Sharkey and sophomore Jocelyn Riordan.
A strong interior defense and stepped up turnover rate saw the Falcons down by seven as the fourth period started.
The South Whidbey girls -- especially Amanda LaVassar, Jessi Eaton, Britta Madison, Erica Johnson and Lauren Sandri -- were fast, smart and capable of smooth travel down the passing lane. But they seemed to lose their precision under the bucket as one tipped ball after another went awry.
Newman had a different take on Tseng.
"We shut her down pretty well for three quarters and she was fouled out of the game at one point. But she came back and our shooting wasn't what we wanted," Newman said.
"The Scots are one of the better teams we play," LaVassar noted.
"We have moments when we're not in form but usually it works itself out," she added.
"The two halves were almost separate games," Falcon Coach John Pyrtek said. "The first was basically a stalemate. Several of Caitie's three-point attempts popped out and we began to lose momentum."
Pyrtek noted a lot of 3-on-2 and 2-on-1 action in the half, with the Falcons outsized at four positions.
"We made a run at them. We're disappointed but not disheartened," he said.
Newman certainly wasn't.
"If we see them again at districts, we'll beat them," she said.
Newman led with 27 points, two three-pointers and 14 rebounds. Sister Lindsey Newman had 10 points, plus two from outside as well.
The Falcons were 14-of-22 from the free-throw line; the Scots went 13-of-18.
This Saturday, Erickson Gym will have a doubleheader of sorts -- the girls welcome Sequim at
3 p.m., the boys at 5 p.m.