The South Whidbey girls basketball team thought the girls at Cedarcrest would be an easy target.
The Red Wolves were happy to disabuse them of that notion, winning in the last seconds of a back-and-forth battle, 52-49.
“It was a real tough loss,” said Falcon senior Natalie Martinovic.
“It started with the warm-up, maybe we were tired, I don’t know. It wasn’t until we got down by 12 points in the third quarter that people realized we had to do something. We fell short,” she said.
Coach Henry Pope was disappointed.
“We were leading 8-0 early in the game, then Cedarcrest ran a successful full-court press and a half-court trap and we couldn’t respond to the pressure,” Pope said.
In the fourth, the Lady Falcons actually outscored the Red Wolves 24-12 but their last-minute tactics couldn’t overcome the lead.
Lindsey Newman had a chance to tie it up.
“We were down by three but I missed a couple of three-pointers,” she said.
“I honestly think we played down to their level; they’d only won a single game and maybe we thought we wouldn’t have to work so hard. We were wrong,” she said.
Pope noted that Allison Wood had a good night blocking shots on defense and Lauren Sandri had four steals. The team had 10 steals in the fourth quarter alone.
“They need to have that level of intensity and focus from the tip-off,” Pope said. “We can be competitive with anyone in the league.”
Newman led the Falcons in scoring with 18 points and 14 rebounds, Samantha Pope had 11 and three rebounds, Sandri added eight and three, while Erica Johnson contributed six and five.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, the girls welcome Granite Falls (2-0, 6-1) to Erikson Gym, and the Falcons aren’t taking the Tigers for granted.
“This is the number one team in our league. We have to show up with our best performance, start to finish,” Pope said.
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.