South Whidbey boys basketball head coach Mike Washington told his players to hold their heads high.
In Washington’s eyes, the Falcons had played as well as they could in a 57-53 loss to Overlake in the elimination game of the class 1A District 1 and 2 tournament on Tuesday night at Erickson Gymnasium. The Falcons had pushed back against an Overlake team that was better on paper, with seven more wins and 10 fewer losses as well as two players who were 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-6. They even crawled back from a 13-0 deficit to lead by five points at halftime.
“They left it all out on the floor,” Washington said. “The kids, they didn’t quit. They fought hard.”
Fight as they did, the Falcons’ fatigued in the third quarter. South Whidbey could not keep pace with the Owls and were outscored 18-6. The Falcons eventually closed the gap, but by then it was too late.
“They (Overlake) were really good,” Washington said. “They had some depth and they had some good guards.”
The loss to Overlake put the kibosh on the Falcons’ season. South Whidbey finished the season 9-15 overall and 5-7 in the Cascade Conference. The Falcons accomplished one of their early season goals of reaching the bi-district tournament, after going 1-2 in the District 1 boys basketball tournament held Feb. 9-13.
Though the Falcons wished they would have made a deeper run into the postseason, Washington felt happy for the team’s success and its effort on the court. It was the Falcons’ first trip to the bi-district tournament since Washington took over the program in 2014.
“We hoped we could make it a little bit further, but those teams are really good,” Washington said.
The Falcons were led in scoring by junior Lewis Pope, who netted 22 points. Falcon senior Kellen Boyd and sophomore Kody Newman scored 10 and nine points, respectively.
Falcon senior Maxfield Friedman was charged with the responsibility of defending Overlake’s Owen Friend, a 6-foot-10 senior center and power forward.
“Maxfield played well too defensively,” Washington said. “I told him before the game, the only rest you’ll get is when the big guy is out.”
The bulk of the Falcons’ varsity roster will graduate this spring, which includes Friedman, Boyd and fellow seniors Anton Klein, Tyler Heggenes, Thorin Helmersen and Cameron Asay.
Pope will be the Falcons’ lone senior next season.