The last time South Whidbey won a conference boys basketball title, not a single member of the Falcons’ 2017-18 squad was alive.
They put to rest almost three decades of falling short Wednesday night while also breaking a streak of dominance by private schools in the Cascade Conference.
South Whidbey beat Granite Falls 73-34 to secure its first conference title since 1989, back when it was called the Cascade League.
“It’s unbelievable, it really is,” South Whidbey coach Mike Washington said after the game. “It’s a culmination of wins, losses, frustrations, not knowing if we’re working hard enough or we’re good enough.”
“It couldn’t get any better than this,” he added.
The Falcons (16-4 overall, 10-1 league) are the first public school to win the league outright in more than a decade.
The lion’s share have gone to King’s, a private Christian school, which lost its bid for a fifth consecutive conference championship and 10th overall title in the past 12 seasons.
Archbishop Murphy, an Everett-based Catholic school, claimed the other two during that span in 2009 and 2011 (co-champions with Cedarcrest).
Archbishop Murphy (13-6, 8-3) took command of second place in the league Wednesday, beating King’s 60-55.
The Knights fell to 9-10 and 7-4 with the loss.
The Falcons haven’t lost a league game since Archbishop Murphy beat them 64-51 at home on Dec. 12. They won the rematch 72-54 on Jan. 19.
The Falcons end the regular season at King’s on Feb. 2.