By traditional standards, Class 2B La Conner would have been considered the underdog against Class 1A South Whidbey’s girls basketball team when they faced off Monday night.
The opposite proved true.
The Braves, who placed third at the 2015 state 2B tournament after reaching the semifinals, defeated the Falcons, 46-27. Though South Whidbey wasn’t at full strength, missing key players who were either sick or out of town such as junior Kinsey Eager, head coach Andy Davis says it’s no excuse.
South Whidbey was not only outplayed, but the Falcons lost sight of a fundamental part of the game, he said.
“The bottom line is that we weren’t as aggressive as we should have been on both ends of the courts,” Davis said. “That’s something we’ll correct. And I think the girls know it and they see and they feel it too. They were just being cautious.”
While the Falcons were tentative in their play, the opposite could be said for La Conner. The Braves were led by junior guard Nakiya Edwards’ 16 points, while three Braves scored in the double digits.
Moving its offense unchallenged by the Falcon defense in the first half, La Conner entered halftime leading 18-8. The Falcons had jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first quarter after scores by sophomore Kolby Heggenes, senior Morgan Davis, and sophomore Mackenzee Collins, but they were held to just one point in the second quarter. The Falcons committed violations like double dribbles, carrying, and traveling early and often, while also turning the ball over, making the deficit even harder to recover from.
The Falcons did match their scoring output from the first quarter in the third quarter, but the Braves continued their high-octane offense and scored 16. Collins scored four points on two layups, while junior Megan Drake captured a rebound and scored on a layup to bring the Falcons within 14 points of the lead with 3:35 left in the third quarter.
But with every score the Falcons made, a turnover seemed to accompany it.
“We just weren’t performing,” Drake said. “Our cuts were slow, our passes were not very strong. Receiving a pass, we would just let the girl go in front of us. I think we were a little too weak and not ready.”
The Falcons performed the best in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points and cleaning up many of the mistakes that plagued them in the preceding three quarters.
It was too late and too little.
The Falcons were led in scoring by Collins, who finished with eight points. Drake was second on the team in scoring with seven. South Whidbey dropped to 5-4 overall. The Falcons are currently in fourth place in the Cascade Conference standings with a 2-2 record.
“We need to work harder and be more aggressive and not let the other team be more aggressive,” Morgan Davis said.
South Whidbey will resume league play at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at South Whidbey High School.