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Falcon boys wrap regular season with win over Lakewood
The boys ended with an 8-7 record in the Cascade Conference, 13-7 overall; they travel to Burlington-Edison (9-4) tomorrow at 7 p.m. for a district showdown with the Tigers in the first playoff round.
There was a sense of urgency involved against Lakewood, no doubt.
“We had a team goal this year to get more wins than last year’s team, and we did that on Friday,” said Falcon coach Scott Collins.
“Last year we finished 12-8 and this year we finished 13-7 so I am very pleased with the progress we are making. The next step for our kids is going to be committing to the off-season,” he said.
One key to the win was getting four Falcons hitting in double digits; Riley Newman, Scott Stallman, Jordan Thornley and Adrian Cortes.
“We did a really good job of moving the ball around and getting great shots,” Collins said. “Adrian had a nice game for us with
10 points, and he is going to be really important down the stretch, because we need an inside presence in the tournament. Four guys in double figures is always nice.”
The Falcons led 15-9 at the first break and kept up the pressure on the Cougar offense well into the second period, even though Lakewood was able to keep top-scorer Newman away from the basket for the first 20 minutes.
At the half, South Whidbey led 31-16.
The pace slackened a bit in the third.
“I thought we got complacent in the second half and didn’t take care of the ball as much as we needed to,” Collins said.
“We aren’t good enough to turn the ball over, take selfish shots and have a chance to beat better teams. We also did not rebound the basketball well, and that is something that will really hurt us in the playoffs.”
Still, the Falcons were up by 20 going into the fourth quarter, 50-30.
South Whidbey was outscored in the fourth, but it provided a chance to let younger guys get some playing time.
Stallman said that on any given night, anyone in the league can win.
“We knew we wanted to end with a victory, especially as it gave us 13 wins, or one more than last year,” Stallman said. “We can build on that.”
Newman admitted he was forcing his shots too much in the first quarter.
“I cooled it down by the second,” he said. “My teammates saw I was shooting well and gave me the ball so it worked, especially as they did a great job picking up defensive rebounds.”
Newman picked up 21 points (321 total for the year), Stallman had 11 (233), Cortes and Thornley 10 each.
Tomorrow, the boys travel to Burlington, last year’s 2A runner-up at state.
“They have a kid named Evan Coulter who is the best player we’ll face this season,” Collins said. “He averages 20 points a game, can shoot the trey, hit the mid-range and attack the rim. He is a tough guard.”
“They also have Colin Stewart who averages double digits as well, but is a streaky shooter. He’s the X factor,” the coach added.
Collins added that, defensively, the Tigers will use a half-court trap in a 1-2-2 and 2-3 zones, trapping the wings and the corners.
“This is something we have not handled well in the past, so we have our work cut out for us,” he said.
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbey