Falcons coast to decisive win in boys hoops

The South Whidbey boys basketball team finally got to perform at home Tuesday, beating Granite Falls 60-39.

Thanks to a series of weather-related cancellations, it was the first at-home sports event since mid-December. The boys are now 2-1 in conference standings and 7-2 overall, good enough for third place in the league, behind Archbishop Murphy and King’s.

Tiger Ryan Hillery scored first, but South Whidbey’s Riley Newman answered seconds later with a three-pointer and the Falcons maintained their lead to the end.

It didn’t take long for Newman to be quickly double-teamed whenever he so much as glanced at the basket. After the first quarter, Chris Carey, Jordan Thornley, Adrian Cortes and Scott Stallman stepped up their efforts; Cole Erikson and Jeff Brasko were sent into the fray and played great defense.

The score at the end of the first quarter had the Falcons in front, 25-18.

The second period found Granite Falls operating a persistent offense, not flashy, as they stepped up efforts to deny Newman and Carey scoring chances. But rebounds and quick Falcon moves — not to mention some key steals by Stallman, Thornley and Brasko — kept South Whidbey on top 33-25 at the half.

Stallman began the second half with a quick two points inside the key. He then rebounded to Carey, who made a fast break, lost the ball, stole it back and scored.

“I’m not going to let someone get the ball from me without responding in kind,” Carey said.

It was a far cry from the previous Friday, when the sluggish Falcons played one of their worst second halves, being outscored 38-17 against King’s.

The Falcons faced the Tigers fired up from the start. They stayed eight to 12 points ahead throughout, up to 14 at the end of the third, with second-effort determination from all hands.

The Falcons finished 60-39.

“We did a great job of moving the ball at times, something we’ve worked hard on,” said Falcon coach Scott Collins. “Adrian had eight points and a great assist to Cole Erikson in the third quarter on an inside-out pass. Stallman had a fine extra pass to Thornley who hit an uncontested three. We had 12 team assists overall and that is a number we would like to see improve.”

Newman ended the night with 16 points, Chris Carey had 14 and Cortes eight, plus seven rebounds.

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