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

Smith receives first-team, all-state honors / Soccer

The Washington State Soccer Coaches Association named South Whidbey senior Lake Smith… Continue reading

Walla Walla edges South Whidbey in state opener / 8-10 baseball

A fast start wasn’t enough and the South Whidbey Little League 8-10… Continue reading

South Whidbey drops 2nd game at state / 8-10 baseball

A dismal second inning doomed South Whidbey Little League at the 8-10… Continue reading

Foode leads kids in Parks and Rec tennis camp

South Whidbey’s love affair with tennis is being kindled in the hearts… Continue reading

NW knocks South Whidbey out of tournament / 11-12 baseball

North Whidbey scored two late runs to chase the South Whidbey 11-12… Continue reading

Burlington stops South Whidbey in district semifinals / 11-12 baseball

Burlington-Edison defeated the South Whidbey 11-12 baseball team 7-2 Thursday, June 28,… Continue reading

South Whidbey wins tournament opener in 11 innings / 11-12 baseball

It spanned two days and took nearly twice as many innings as… Continue reading

Collins earns all-state honors / Softball

South Whidbey High School’s Mackenzee Collins was named to the Washington State… Continue reading

South Whidbey wins district title and trip to state / 8-10 baseball

The South Whidbey Little League 8-10 baseball team completed a sweep of… Continue reading

South Whidbey closing in on state berth / 8-10 baseball

The South Whidbey Little League 8-10 baseball team is one win away… Continue reading

Future of SW basketball on display at camp

The hall leading to the South Whidbey High School gymnasium is adorned… Continue reading

Heggenes, Pope receive Cliff Gillies Award

Seniors Kolby Heggenes and Lewis Pope were the recipients of this year’s… Continue reading