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Falcon girls end season with a win
Snapping a seven-game losing streak was the priority for the South Whidbey girls basketball team Monday night.
The Falcons secured their third win of the season, beating the Granite Falls Tigers 56-53 at Granite Falls High School. Winning the season finale capped a down year for the Falcons, who suffered from a case of inexperience with a freshmen-laden squad and only three varsity upperclassmen.
South Whidbey rebounded from an earlier loss on the team’s senior night Friday honoring lone senior Madi Boyd. Archbishop Murphy ran away with the game 52-37, though only after South Whidbey started the game with a flurry of hustle and shots made.
The Wildcats held the lead from their first possession, a three-pointer by sophomore Megan Wall, the night’s leading scorer with 28 points. From there, the ‘Cats sprinted to a 13-0 lead with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
But the Falcons settled into their zone defense, forcing the Wildcats to pass along the perimeter and look for an entry pass near the basket. Trading missed outside shots, the Falcons finally — and perhaps fittingly — got on the board on a layup drive by Boyd, who scored a team-high 13 points. Falcon junior Abby Hodson followed suit with a banked jump shot, and sophomore Morgan Davis drilled a buzzer-beating three-pointer to close within six points.
With momentum favoring South Whidbey, the Falcons closed in on the gap with another Hodson jump shot to trail 15-11. Following the shot, Archbishop Murphy’s head coach Cassie Snyder called a time out and implored her team to cease the barrage of three-pointers — most of them missed — that had let the Falcons creep on the lead.
Message received. The Wildcats hit a short baseline jump shot, a layup, missed a couple of low post shots and scored a layup on their following four possessions.
At the end of it, Archbishop Murphy held a 10-point lead. South Whidbey whittled that down to 23-15 on a Megan Drake layup, but was unable to score after a Kristen Schuster steal in the final minute before halftime.
On Archbishop Murphy’s first possession of the second half, it regained its double-digit lead on a pair of free throws by freshman Sam Hayward. The Wildcats followed up with a steal and a quick Wall layup. From there, the Falcons could not keep pace with the full-court pressure and length of the Wildcats, watching the lead rise to 24 points by the fourth quarter.
With 90 seconds left, Boyd displayed the passing ability that led her dad, who served as the team’s home game announcer, to dub her the “Duchess of Dribble” during pregame introductions, with a baseline drive and pass to Davis for a short jump shot. Boyd followed with a foul, hitting both free throws with 39 seconds left when Falcon head coach Andy Davis pulled her out for a curtain call of sorts.
“That’s how you finish,” her father said over the speakers.