The South Whidbey girls basketball team rose to the occasion against a hostile home crowd at Steilacoom to win their second game 46-40.
The Falcons are 2-0 overall on the season.
“After a long bus ride plus a long day of school, I was proud of the way the players responded,” Falcon coach Henry Pope said.
“The crowd was tough and the officiating was even tougher, but the players rose above it all to play a great game which made this win more sweeter than normal,” he said.
The Sentinels applied full court pressure all game long but the girls responded with defensive pressure of their own, which caught Steilacoom off guard.
“Lindsey Newman, as usual, was a one-woman wrecking crew with 17 points, seven steals, eight offensive and six defensive rebounds,” Pope said.
“She had the heck beat out of her all game long and constantly was harassed by the crowd. But Lindsey responded with a smile and a win.”
Forward Cayla Calderwood dominated inside with 17 points and added four free throws.
With less than two minutes left in the game and the Falcons up by four, it seemed that a Steilacoom guard was heading for an uncontested lay-up when Reilly O’Sullivan came out of nowhere with a spectacular block.
Steilacoom got the offensive rebound and Samantha Pope responded with another blocked shot while Newman grabbed the rebound. South Whidbey managed their free throws to win by six.
“While Lindsey and Cayla were outstanding on offense, great defensive pressure by Reilly and Allison Wood inside were key to this win,” Pope said. “Another example of how the Falcons are playing great team basketball at both ends of the court this year.”
Newman and Calderwood finished with 17 points each, Pope and Natasha Roberts each added four, O’Sullivan and Rachel Harris, two.
Newman had 14 rebounds, Wood seven, Calderwood and Pope five each. Newman led on steals with seven.
The girls travel to Sultan next and then play at the Port Townsend Tournament.
The Falcons will be back in Erickson Gym at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 against Cedarcrest.
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@south