Falcons at 5-0 as they prepare for league play

Falcon Chris Carey gives his all to make the shot Saturday as Tenino defender Jordan Howell gets ready to pounce. The boys won 68-38, and welcome Coupeville at 7 p.m. Friday as league play begins. - David Welton / The Record
Falcon Chris Carey gives his all to make the shot Saturday as Tenino defender Jordan Howell gets ready to pounce. The boys won 68-38, and welcome Coupeville at 7 p.m. Friday as league play begins.
— image credit: David Welton / The Record

The South Whidbey boys are poised to take their 5-0 record into league play at home Friday night.

It was the Riley Newman/Chris Carey show as the Falcons beat Mount Baker 58-55 Friday on the strength of the two Falcons’ 42 combined points.

Toward the end of the final quarter, the Mountaineers had closed the gap to 56-55.

“You work on those situations in practice, you put the kids in a tough environment and you feel good about your chances in a game like that,” said Falcon coach Scott Collins. “When they cut the lead and called time out, I told our guys to calm down, that we were in a great position to still win the game.”

South Whidbey avoided fouling Mount Baker on shots late in the game to stop the clock. Combined with the Falcons’ fine shooting and ball control, South Whidbey was able to eke out the win.

“We didn’t turn the ball over — 12 for the game, our goal is under 10 — and we made 51 percent from the field,” Collins said.

Collins said the team is doing an excellent job of finding Newman when he’s open; Newman currently is tops in the league in scoring after five games with 81 points.

“Riley can really shoot the basketball and scores in a variety of ways, helping make the players around him better,” the coach said.

“Scott [Stallman] played really well in the first half, and we need to get him more aggressive in the second half because we know how well he can play when he is attacking,” Collins said.

The coach noted Carey has improved substantially this year and is third in scoring with 46 points.

“Jeff Brasko played well without filling up the stat sheet. He had a very solid game, didn’t make mistakes and kept ball alive for us a few times when we needed possessions,” Collins added.

On Saturday, the Falcons had a field day against the Tenino Beavers during a 68-38 rout.

Despite their overall size advantage, the Beavers aren’t the fastest team on the planet and their attempted intimidation tactics backfired.

South Whidbey quickly demonstrated its depth as players would pass the ball back in turn until the man who could take the shot scored.

“You never take an opponent lightly,” Collins said. “You have to play the same way against every opponent you face. Taking great shots, taking care of the basketball, rebounding the basketball and contesting shots to the final buzzer.”

In the first quarter, Newman, Carey, Scott Stallman, Jeff Brasko, Jordan Thornley and Adrian Cortes dominated the action — even the 23-9 score at the end of the quarter failed to indicate how much the Falcons controlled the game.

The outclassed Tenino team, despite the best efforts of 6-foot-5 post player Chad Reaves, just couldn’t make a dent in the Falcon offensive plan.

“We started out on the attack and kept the intensity level high,” Stallman recalled. “We wanted to stay on top, not let down in the third quarter as we’ve done in the past. That’s something I’m working on.”

As the day rolled on, more and more unfamiliar names showed on the court as Falcon coach Scott Collins wisely gave valuable minutes to younger players.

Andy Bennett, Sean George, Luke Hodson and Cole Erikson all played, reflecting the game’s 43-17 first half score. And they held their own against the Beavers’ top varsity efforts, as the 68-38 final score demonstrated.

“Kyle West really played well, he did a good job rebounding and he ran the court well and had some nice buckets,” Collins said. “Thornley shot the ball well and we need him to score a little bit more for us to really be a great team.”

Collins was especially pleased with the Falcons’-assist-to-turnover ratio;

14 assists as a team and only four turnovers.

Unlike the night before, scoring was a little more even. Newman led with 13, Cary 10, Stallman nine and West with seven while Adrian Cortes, Cole Erikson and Jordan Thornley each contributed six.

“We still have to improve our defensive rebounding and situational awareness,” Collins added. “But the kids have put us in a situation to have a very successful season, and we look forward to starting league play.”

At 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19 the boys welcome Coupeville to Erikson Gym.

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