South Whidbey crushes Granite Falls in district opener / Boys basketball

A stingy defense and some offense from an unexpected source propelled the South Whidbey High School boys basketball team into the second round of the district tournament.

The Falcons defeated visiting Granite Falls 61-38 Wednesday, Feb. 6, in an elimination game.

South Whidbey (14-7) now travels to Meridian (9-13) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, for a winner-to-bi-district, loser-out game. The Trojans, the No. 2 seed out of the Northwest Conference, lost 87-49 to King’s Wednesday.

If the Falcons win at Meridian, they will play either Nooksack Valley or Cedar Park Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Mount Vernon High School to determine the third and fourth seeds to bi-district.

Meridian (9-13) beat the Falcons 63-56 way back on Nov. 27 in the season opener.

King’s and Lynden Christian will play for the district title and the top two seeds to bi-district at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Mount Vernon.

South Whidbey 61, Granite Falls 39

The Falcons limited the Tigers to only 18 points through the first three quarters and cruised to the win.

Coach Mike Washington employed a box-and-one defense on Granite Falls’ top offensive threat, Ben Haider, and the strategy paid off.

Dexter Jokinen, with relief from Nick Young, held Haider to 2 points through the first three quarters.

With the game in hand, South Whidbey came out of the box-and-one when the reserves took over in the fourth quarter, and Haider pumped in 18 points.

Washington noted that Haider’s big fourth period only magnified the impressive defensive efforts of Jokinen and Young.

Young wasn’t only one of the defensive stars. He exploded for a career-high 23 points while hitting nine of 11 field goal attempts.

“Nick played great,” Washington said. “(He) played with a lot of confidence. (It’s the) best game I have seen him play.”

Jokinen also stood out on offense; he hit four three-pointers and finished with 12 points.

Kody Newman added 11 points, Sterling Patton 5, Brock Gray 3, Ben Lind 3, Jacob Ng 2 and Cody Eager 2.

Levi Buck had 7 rebounds, Kole Nelson 6 and Eager 5. Buck also had three steals and two blocks.

Jokinen hit two three-balls, Newman added another and Young and Patton each scored 3 points in the first quarter as the Falcons raced to a 15-2 lead.

Young tallied 10 points, Jokinen hit two more threes and Newman scored 4 points, helping South Whidbey go into the locker room ahead 35-10.

Young had 10 more points in the third period, pushing the Falcons’ lead to 53-18.

Lind and Gray both drained three-pointers for the Falcons in the final period.

Haider’s 18 points in the fourth against the South Whidbey subs helped the Tigers more than double their score.

More in Sports

Falcons getting ready for new season

South Whidbey and the other Washington high school football teams hit the… Continue reading

Photos: Falcons begin 2019 season / Football

Washington state high schools began football practice for the 2019 season Wednesday,… Continue reading

Hydros for Heroes return to Whidbey Island this weekend

Hydros for Heroes continues to grow in reputation and stature. The boats… Continue reading

Morgan tops local runners at Race the Reserve

Langley’s Sophia Morgan led a handful of local runners by winning her… Continue reading

Swim lessons help youngsters learn important skill

Safety and fun. Those are the key elements when it comes to… Continue reading

Newmans carving out careers in officiating, pickleball

Basketball and tennis helped pay the way through college for siblings Lindsey… Continue reading

Oakley leads local competitors / Triathlon

Peter Oakley of Langley was the top local finisher in the 23rd… Continue reading

A piece of Ironman triathlon touches Whidbey event

Some competitors in the 23rd annual Whidbey Island Triathlon Saturday, July 27,… Continue reading

Thome to compete in 20th consecutive Whidbey Island Triathlon

“I can do that.” Those were Bob Thome’s thoughts when he first… Continue reading

Monstars win 3-on-3 basketball tournament title

The Monstars prevailed in the ninth annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament hosted by… Continue reading

3-on-3 tournament begins Saturday / Basketball

Three-on-three basketball returns for the ninth year to South Whidbey Saturday, July… Continue reading

Cisney wins world championship / Taekwondo

Just over three years ago, Jenny Cisney took up taekwondo. Last weekend… Continue reading