Ashley Lynch, left, and Farriss Jokinen try to get open against a full court press in practice last week. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Ashley Lynch, left, and Farriss Jokinen try to get open against a full court press in practice last week. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Winter prep preview / Girls basketball

The South Whidbey High School girls basketball team will have strength in the post, now it needs to find someone to get the ball inside.

Three of the four returning Falcons who saw varsity action last year are interior players: 6-0 junior Lexi Starets-Foote, 5-11 sophomore Ella Wood and 5-10 sophomore Emma Hodson. Senior Farriss Jokinen, 5-5, also returns.

“We are big and should be able to rebound,” coach Jeff Hanson said. “We are big and strong; now we just need to play to our abilities.”

Hanson isn’t sure who else will fill out the varsity roster, especially at the guard spots.

“We haven’t figured out who can handle the varsity level,” he said. “At the start, we will have a lot of floaters between the varsity and JV.”

The Falcons are extremely young and lack varsity experience, Hanson said. The team has only two seniors and one junior — the remainder are sophomores and freshmen.

“I could see some freshmen playing varsity at the end of the year, but we don’t want to throw them in there at the beginning when they aren’t ready.”

The Falcons could suffer through some growing pains this year, Hanson said, as South Whidbey rebuilds.

“It is going to take some time,” he said, in regard to getting the youngsters ready to compete.

“We are going to be a lot better in the 20th game, and it is going to be a learning curve for me,” he added. “Some of the girls will be just fine, but they have a lot to learn.”

Hanson noted that the future looks bright. Eleven freshmen turned out this year, and the group is playing well and “picking things up.”

The strength of the team, Hanson said, is its inside play. His biggest concern, beside the team’s inexperience, is finding players who can handle the ball and guard the perimeter.

According to Hanson, the goal for the year is like any other — have fun and improve.

South Whidbey was supposed to open the season at home with Port Townsend Wednesday, Nov. 28, but the game was postponed because the Redhawks don’t have enough eligible players.

The Falcons will play in the Friday Harbor Tipoff Classic Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Friday they face Seattle Academy at 2 p.m. The outcome of that game will determine if they meet Friday Harbor or Clallam Bay Saturday.

South Whidbey is home at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, with Sedro-Woolley.

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