Evan Thompson / The Record — South Whidbey girls basketball struggled in a 47-13 loss to Cedarcrest on Dec. 8, but managed to get back on track with a 42-22 win over Coupeville on Dec. 9.

Evan Thompson / The Record — South Whidbey girls basketball struggled in a 47-13 loss to Cedarcrest on Dec. 8, but managed to get back on track with a 42-22 win over Coupeville on Dec. 9.

Falcons earn rebound win against Wolves

A rough stretch of games for South Whidbey’s girls basketball team this past week ended on a high note.

The Falcons beat island rival Coupeville 42-22 on Saturday, Dec. 9, following consecutive defeats to Archbishop Murphy on Dec. 5 and Cedarcrest on Dec. 8. South Whidbey (2-3 overall, 0-2 in the Cascade Conference) was outscored 112-29 in the two losses. Though it came at the hands of two undefeated teams, the margin of defeat was enough to shake the confidence of the Falcons. The feeling lingered into the first quarter against Coupeville, which jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.

“I think we were all just nervous and a little discouraged,” senior Kolby Heggenes said.

The Falcon players and coaches agreed that South Whidbey could have easily conceded and suffered another loss. But, as soon as it calmed down, South Whidbey turned things around. The Falcons held the Wolves to five points for the rest of the half, while their offense gained momentum.

“They came back and played really good on Saturday, took care of business and got better,” head coach Jeff Hanson said. “…It’s a great group of kids. Hopefully we can just keep building week by week. We could have just come in Saturday and rolled over, but we did exactly what we needed to do.”

Heggenes and senior Ally Lynch said the Falcons managed their possessions by making smart passes and limiting turnovers.

Sickness and injury have taken a toll on the Falcons’ lineup. Several players are battling through strep throat, while senior center Mackenzee Collins — who is one of the Falcons’ most experienced and tallest players at 6 feet — may be out for the season with a broken toe. Junior Lexi Starets-Foote, another 6-foot-tall center, has stepped into fill her roll, but the Falcons are also a young team; only three players from last year’s squad have significant varsity experience. New varsity players such as junior Fariss Jokinen, sophomore Kayla Knauer and sophomore Emily Vanberg will need time to adjust, Heggenes and Lynch said, while the team molds into a unit.

“We can’t replace her (Mackenzee),” Hanson said. “That’s the way it is. So, it’s going to take a team effort to replace her.”

Heggenes and senior Ally Lynch said despite the losses to Archbishop Murphy and Cedarcrest, there were lessons to be learned. Cedarcrest, for example, pressured the Falcons with a full-court press for the majority of the game. As difficult as it was to move the ball up the court, the Falcons embraced the fact that they would be better off learning how to overcome it.

“We can definitely learn from it,” Heggenes said. “We learned how to break that. That’s always good because we’re going to see it again. It’s not the last time. So, it’s definitely good practice.”

Lynch, who is also adjusting to her first year of significant varsity action, was encouraged by the Falcons’ willingness to improve in the face of adversity.

“We lost by a lot, but throughout the game we got better,” Lynch said. “That’s all we could ask for.”

More in Sports

Two wrestlers place at Sky Valley Invite

South Whidbey wrestling finished 15th out of 20 teams at the Sky… Continue reading

Pope named state athlete of the week

South Whidbey senior Lewis Pope was recently named to a state “Athletes… Continue reading

Falcons beat league juggernaut King’s by 15 points

South Whidbey boys basketball claimed the top spot in the Cascade Conference… Continue reading

Boys basketball team goes 2-1, finish 2nd in California tournament

South Whidbey boys basketball came away from its week long trip to… Continue reading

Kiteboarders battle big waves at Useless Bay

Strong winds this past week attracted a few kiteboarders to Useless Bay.… Continue reading

Year in review: South Whidbey sports in 2017

It was an action-packed year of sports in 2017, from a state… Continue reading

Sherry Phay
Islander muscles way into national powerlifting meet

Sherry Phay displayed both her strength and quickness while winning her division… Continue reading

First-year head coaches settling into new roles

Robbie Bozin knew one day he’d be a head wrestling coach for… Continue reading

Falcon girls basketball team starts season 1-1, beat Clallam Bay

South Whidbey girls basketball lost its season-opening game on Friday night but… Continue reading

Despite lack of energy, Falcons defeat Aussies 44-33

South Whidbey boys basketball defended its home turf against foreign invaders on… Continue reading

Safety in sports: new athletic trainer, safer techniques help Falcon athletics

Injuries are a reality of contact sports. South Whidbey’s football and girls… Continue reading

South Whidbey to break away from Cascade Conference, form new 1A league

The Cascade Conference is officially splitting apart. South Whidbey High School is… Continue reading