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Falcon girls win over King’s, after the buzzer
The South Whidbey girls basketball team beat the King’s Knights by a single point Friday, 50-49.
After the buzzer sounded ending the contest.
“Oh, man, it was an exciting game,” said Falcon coach Henry Pope. “The girls played solid defense down the stretch and Lindsey (Newman) was hot, sinking four three-pointers and picking up a total 36 points for the night.”
Pope credited Reilly O’Sullivan, Chantal LaChaussee, Ashlinn Prosch and Jessica Manca for keeping the pressure on King’s point guards, giving Newman the time she needed to make baskets.
“Reilly has a mindset on defense that is amazing to watch,” Pope said. “She shut them down in the fourth quarter and Lindsey stepped it up.”
In fact, the Knights led the Falcons 42 points to 29 over the first three quarters.
“At one point, Lindsey was between the half-court line and the top of the key and looked at me for a little guidance,” Pope said. “I yelled, ‘shoot it,’ and she made it in.”
Things looked grim for South Whidbey when the fourth period began.
“In the last six minutes we were down 15 points,” Pope recalled. “A lesser team team might have bagged it, but these girls decided to give it all they had. And it was enough.”
While the defense kept the Knights down to seven points, South Whidbey scored 21 but were still behind 49-48 in the last seconds.
Newman described what happened next, with two seconds left and a point down.
“King’s began to stall and eat up the clock when Chantal fouled one of their girls,” she said. “Jessica and I were forward, the rest of our team positioned under our basket. The King’s girl failed to make her free throw and it ricocheted off the backboard to me.”
Newman said she planned to grab the ball, dribble down half court and attempt a desperation basket from there.
“But suddenly the girl who missed her shot hacked at my arm and was fouled,” Newman said. “The buzzer sounded and the game was over but I still had three free throws. I needed two.
Newman said there was an explosion of screams and yelling as Pope and her teammates swarmed off the bench.
“Our dribble-entry passes to the post in that last quarter were amazing,” she added. “It’s always nice to beat King’s; they’re a very good team.”
Newman ended the evening with 36 points, while Alannah Alber, O’Sullivan and Prosch all had four. With 216 points total for the year, Newman is averaging 27 points per game, highest in the state.
One girl who missed the finish was freshman Makenzie Peterson. “In the first quarter,
I was tripped and went crashing to the hardwood floor,” she said. “It all happened so fast, I didn’t realize I’d lost a tooth.”
Her mother drove her back from Seattle; Clinton dentist Bob Perkins was on his way out to dinner when the call arrived.
“He agreed to see me and glued my tooth back in,” Peterson explained. “I’m fine now.”
Pope said he didn’t know whether the incident had any effect on Peterson’s teammates, but he did know one thing for sure.
“They played with heart on Friday,” he said. “I’m really proud of their collective efforts not to give up when they got behind.”
With their 1-1 (3-5 overall) record, the Falcon girls are in the fifth spot in the Cascade Conference. A win against Granite Falls Tuesday will bring them to third.
“We’re only going to get a lot better,” Newman said. “Some have underestimated us which isn’t a good idea. Beating King’s on the road gave us a lot of confidence.”
At 4 p.m. today in the high school gym, the girls will host the Falcon “buddies” program for boys and girls through the eighth grade.