Losing two games in four days hit the South Whidbey boys basketball team hard.
The Falcons fell in double overtime to the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats 63-58 in Everett on Dec. 19, then lost to La Conner 51-35 on Monday.
“Right now, it’s time to reassess what we do, see what we can add or subtract from and go from there,” said Falcon head coach Mike Washington Sr., in his first year at South Whidbey.
Facing the 2A Cascade Conference Wildcats, the Falcons held a 28-23 halftime lead. Led by senior Parker Collins’ 17 points, including four three-pointers, South Whidbey lost its way in the third quarter when it was held to only three points. Only senior Mo Hamsa also scored in double digits for the Falcons.
“We played really well that game,” Washington said.
“I have no complaints,” he added. “I told the kids we were going to make them beat us from the perimeter.”
South Whidbey (1-3 Cascade Conference, 3-4 overall) has yet to win consecutive games, despite opening the season with a 27-point win over Coupeville.
Several of South Whidbey’s games have been decided by 10 points or less, including a pair of wins. The most recent close-call win came Dec. 20 against Friday Harbor, when the Falcons beat the Wolverines 46-42 behind 18 points from Collins, including three three-pointers.
Washington said the Falcons played uninspired for three quarters and fell behind 40-30. Midway through the third, the Falcon offense found its spark and closed the game on a 16-2 run. He credited the Falcons finding Collins, who had struggled to get the ball earlier, and junior Ricky Muzzy for hitting free throws late in the game.
Against La Conner on Monday, South Whidbey was quickly routed.
“They were good. They hit threes, they rebounded well, they had post-up moves,” Washington said of the La Conner squad.
“We just didn’t score,” he added. The 35 points were a season low for South Whidbey.
Collins, the team’s leading scorer and main shooter, was held to a season-low 12 points. Any time he scores less than 20, Washington said, it’s a problem.
“In order for us to win, he’s gotta be over 20,” the Falcon coach said.
During Christmas week, the Falcons were only taking the holiday off. Otherwise, they were in the gym to try to reduce their turnovers, improve the offensive efficiency and continue to work on a team-first attitude, Washington said.
“We don’t blow teams out, so every possession is important for us,” he said.