It took the South Whidbey High School girls basketball team eight tries before securing a victory last winter. The Falcons made sure that didn’t happen again, winning their season opener 48-41 at Concrete Tuesday, Dec. 3.
South Whidbey found strength in numbers. It used a balanced scoring attack to overcome 22 points by Concrete junior Kylie Clark.
With only two seniors and a large group of untested but talented underclassmen, including five freshmen, South Whidbey coach Jeff Hanson said it could be deep into the season before he figures out his best lineup. Hanson used 12 players against Concrete, and nine appeared in all four quarters and seven scored at least 4 points.
The Falcons secured the win with a big fourth quarter, outscoring the Lions 16-9.
South Whidbey sank eight of 13 free throws down the stretch after making only 3 of 14 over the first three periods.
Freshman Isabelle Wood led the Falcons with 7 points in the quarter. Kayla Knauer added three and Madi Knauer, Arianna Briggs and Elizabeth Haines 2 each.
The Falcons went up 11-9 in the first quarter behind 4 points from Madi Knauer and Briggs and a 3-ball by Haines.
Concrete, with 6 points from Clark, outscored South Whidbey 13-9 in the second period to take a 22-20 lead into halftime.
The Falcons’ 9 points came from Madi Knauer (3-ball), Briggs and Emma Hodson (field goals), and Haines and Ella Wood (foul shots).
Hodson had 5 points, Ella Wood 3 and Kyla Knauer and Isabelle Wood 2 each as South Whidbey evened the score at 32 going into the final period.
Freshmen reserves Isabelle Wood and Madi Knauer led the Falcons in scoring with 9 points. Briggs finished with 8, Hodson 7, Haines 6, Kayla Knauer 5 and Ella Wood 4.
“I though Emma played with great poise,” Hanson said. “She played hard and was really solid against the press.”
South Whidbey (1-0) plays at Port Townsend (1-1) at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and then at home for the first time when Bush (0-1) visits at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.