Falcons scorch Turks with three-point attack

The Falcons’ Amanda LaVassar steals the ball from a Sultan opponent and head’s down court well ahead of the pack for an easy fast-break basket. - Brian Kelly
The Falcons’ Amanda LaVassar steals the ball from a Sultan opponent and head’s down court well ahead of the pack for an easy fast-break basket.
— image credit: Brian Kelly

The South Whidbey Falcons silenced Sultan with five first-quarter three pointers and cruised to a 71-45 win in girls basketball Wednesday at Erickson Gym.

The Lady Falcons scorched to a fast and furious early lead, and stretched it to double digits at 19-9 before Sultan sophomore Kelsey Shacklett narrowed it to 19-11 on a bank shot.

Didn’t much matter. The Falcon’s freshman starter Lindsey Newman answered with a three pointer from the left side of the arc to double up Sultan, 22-11.

It was one of three treys in the quarter for Newman. Her sister, Caitie Newman, knocked down two three-pointers in the first quarter, as well.

Even so, Sultan cut the lead back to 10 at the end of the first after Shacklett cut baseline and hoisted a shot that sat on the rim for a second before dropping in at the buzzer.

With South Whidbey in front, 25-15, at the end of the first, the Falcons went on to outscore the Turks 19-7 in the second to take a 44-22 advantage at the break. The entire Falcon team saw action in the first half, and the Newman sisters chipped in 25 first-half points; 15 points from Lindsey Newman and 10 from Caitie Newman.

Despite all the Falcon shots that caught twine from Trey Town, the Falcons have feasted before from behind the three-point line. South Whidbey hit nine threes in action against Granite Falls earlier this season.

“It’s something that we practice every day,” Pyrtek said. “It’s part of our modus operandi.”

“I had told them, against Sultan, to look for the easy open shot, kind of implying that we should be getting lay-ins.

“Much to my delight and dismay they came out absolutely on fire and everything was going in,” he added.

Sultan showed no signs of quit, however, and battled to get back into the game.

But the Falcons’ experience, and the aggressiveness of the South Whidbey second team in the fourth, made the comeback trail too tough for the Turks.

“I think that Sultan is one of the best-coached teams in the league,” Pyrtek said. “This year they are just a young team, going up against us, a senior laden team.”

Caitie Newman finished with 15 and dished five assists. Lindsey Newman scored a team-high 22 points. She also went 9-of-10 from the line and had five assists.

Marcella Litwiller finished with 16 for the Falcons.

Krystal Paszkeicz led Sultan with 18 and was almost unstoppable in the post. Shacklett added 15 for the Turks.

South Whidbey improved to 4-2 in the Cascade Conference with the win (9-7 overall), while Sultan stayed winless at 0-5 (6-7 overall).

Lindsey Newman’s performance put her at 11th in the league for scoring.

Pyrtek praised Newman’s play, but said he has seen it before.

“She’s had peaks and valleys. This is definitely a peak for Lindsey,” he said. “It was definitely a great game for Lindsey.”

Caitie Newman is second in the scoring (17.9 average) in the league, and fourth overall of all 3A girls teams.

Marcella Litwiller is third in the league for scoring (15.7), and eighth in 3A play.

The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 17 but was postponed due to a bomb threat at South Whidbey High. Even so, the delay had no noticeable impact on the Falcons’ play.

The Falcons now face a tough stretch in the schedule, going up against Cedarcrest at home, followed by Archbishop Murphy and defending state 2A champs King’s.

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