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Young girls basketball team finds new foundation | FALCON SPORTS PREVIEW

Falcon freshman Megan Drake brings the ball up the court during a recent practice. The girls varsity team will rely on young players who will need to improve quickly to compete in the Cascade Conference this season.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Falcon freshman Megan Drake brings the ball up the court during a recent practice. The girls varsity team will rely on young players who will need to improve quickly to compete in the Cascade Conference this season.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Being the voices of the Falcon girls basketball squad will run in the Boyd family this year.

Madi Boyd is the lone senior on the squad and has taken on the leadership role that comes with four years of varsity experience. While she swishes threes and lofts teardrop floaters, her father will call the games as announcer at South Whidbey High School.

“He gets excited,” she laughed.

Having her dad there will be of some comfort, as Boyd knows this is a rebuilding year. South Whidbey lost three prolific scorers to graduation who each filled a vital role on the squad that finished 12-12 last season and went 1-2 in the District 1 playoffs.

“What we lost in offensive scoring ability, we’re definitely going to have to make up for in effort and really executing, making everything perfect,” Boyd said.

Between South Whidbey and the postseason are contests with King’s and Coupeville, the other 1A teams in the Cascade Conference. The Falcons must finish in the top two out of the three 1A squads to advance to the district tournament. Last year, South Whidbey split regular-season games with Coupeville before beating the Wolves in the playoffs.

The rivalry matches are at the top of Boyd’s list, as is the senior night game — the final home game — which will be a one-woman show with Boyd the lone star.

“Yeah, it’ll be like a birthday party,” she said, adding that her friends have joked that they will go “all out” for the event.

Teams like Archbishop Murphy, King’s and Cedarcrest figure to contend for the top three spots in the league standings. Boyd contends that, while young, South Whidbey’s three freshmen could lift the Falcons past expectations others have put upon the team.

“We’re a young team, but we’re very athletic,” she said.

“We’re going to surprise people with how well we do.”

Head coach Andy Davis brought in Leo Langer, an assistant coach on the Falcon football team, to run the junior varsity squad this year.

In practices, Davis has worked on ball handling and limiting turnovers. Getting the girls comfortable dribbling the ball and looking for a pass has been a top priority. At a recent practice, he regularly reminded his players to relax when they caught a pass or were dribbling up the court.

Taking criticism from the coaches has been a noticeable difference for Boyd in the team. Younger players are responding better to Davis than in past years, she said.

“When coach yells, they don’t get offended, they just brush it off,” she said. “I’m the most competitive person on the team, by far, and when I yell at them, they just brush it off … Their good attitudes are rubbing off on me.”

 

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