Sports

South Whidbey boys basketball wins one for the Gulvin

Blake Blakey, Josh Gulvin, Eric Stallman, Duncan Adams and Chad Anderson tussle with Tiger Sean Counley during Tuesday’s loss to Granite Falls. Gulvin suffered a badly-sprained ankle in the Falcon’s final victory against Sultan on Thursday. - Jeff VanDerford
Blake Blakey, Josh Gulvin, Eric Stallman, Duncan Adams and Chad Anderson tussle with Tiger Sean Counley during Tuesday’s loss to Granite Falls. Gulvin suffered a badly-sprained ankle in the Falcon’s final victory against Sultan on Thursday.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford

After a fine 51-46 victory over Archbishop Murphy Feb. 3, the South Whidbey boys basketball team made a strong effort to become the first squad since 1994 to have a winning season.

Two final wins would have done the trick. But it was not to be.

The Falcons fell to Granite Falls 50-43 on Tuesday and though they rebounded with a 46-42 win over Sultan on Thursday, their previous losses couldn’t be overcome.

Nevertheless, the team (5-7 in league play, 8-10 overall) meets Shorecrest High School for a WESCO crossover game today at 3 p.m.

Unfortunately, the Falcons will be a bit short-handed as starting senior Josh Gulvin suffered an ankle injury against the Turks, coming down hard from a layup in the second quarter.

“He’s in a lot of pain and we first thought he’d broken it,” said Kari Gulvin, his mother. “But the doctors said it’s just a bad sprain, so that’s good.”

Against Granite Falls, the boys had a slow start as Tiger Sean Counley dominated the play in the paint.

When Counley left with a nose bleed in the second, things looked brighter — the Falcons outscored the Tigers 18-9. But 6-foot-5 center Jess Perry stationed himself under the net for rebounds while forward Josh Knudson pounded in for the points and Granite Falls escaped with the win.

Eric Stallman led scoring with 14, Chad Anderson had 12 and Blake Blakey nine. Blakey and Stallman both connected for two treys and Duncan Adams had one blocked shot.

Thursday was Senior Night — Gulvin, Ian Ward and Duncan Adams were honored — but the Turks weren’t in the mood to pay their respects. Though they started slow, Sultan begin putting pressure on the point of the ball and rebounding fiercely.

By the break, the Falcons still led 15-10 but forward Beau Champeaux (gotta love that moniker) had caught the groove — he outscored all with 17.

Robbie Bailey fouled with seconds left in the half, ensuring a slight lead that widened as the second half progressed.

“We wanted to win for Josh, though the score would have been higher if he’d stayed in,” Ward noted.

The frustration level on both sides rose in the fourth — some egregious fouls were passed over by the referees.

“There were some cheap shots tonight, but you just have to let ‘em slide and maintain the game plan,” Adams said later.

Chad Anderson picked up the first points in the fourth period but the Turks were on target, the Falcons less so.

A full five minutes went by without a South Whidbey point scored and the Turks smelled an upset.

Eric Stallman broke the logjam on a fast break and the boys preserved their slim four-point lead to the buzzer.

“I’ll remember this night for a very long time,” Adams said.

Adams led with 13, Anderson and Blakey shared eight apiece, Gulvin had six and Stallman five.

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