Sterling Patton scored 34 points — including hitting eight three-pointers — to help the visiting South Whidbey High School boys basketball team hold off pesky Oak Harbor 79-65 Friday, Dec. 13.
The win lifted the Falcons’ season record to 5-0. They play four more non-league games, three on the road, before opening North Sound Conference play at Sultan Jan. 3.
This week South Whidbey goes to La Conner (1-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, and then travels to face another unbeaten team, Bellevue Christian (4-0), at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20.
Every time it looked like South Whidbey would run away from Oak Harbor, the Wildcats clawed their way back into the game.
“It was a battle,” South Whidbey coach Greg Turcott said. “Oak Harbor came out and played a great second half. It was one of those games where you see what you are made of.
“We didn’t panic and stayed tough. We made some adjustments on what they were doing on the court.”
The Falcons came out hot, hitting their first five shots, including two from beyond the arc by Patton, and raced to leads of 11-3 and 13-5.
Oak Harbor didn’t fold and fought back to go up 16-14.
A Patton three-pointer sandwiched by hoops by Levi Buck and Carson Wright helped the Falcons regain the lead, 21-17, at the quarter.
South Whidbey looked like it was going to blow the Wildcats away in the second quarter. Patton pumped in 11 points, getting one basket off a nice feed from Nick Young, and the Falcons led by 17, 40-23, with 1:47 left in the half.
The Wildcats finished the quarter on a 7-2 run and started to inch their way back into the game.
It took Oak Harbor less than six minutes into the third period to slice the lead to 3, 48-45.
Patton responded by nailing two from long range and the Falcons led 55-48 going into the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats got to within 6, 61-55, with 6:05 left in the game, and then Patton silenced Oak Harbor once again, hitting two more three-balls. The Falcons’ lead never slipped below 10 from there.
While Patton was striking from outside, guard Nick Young attacked the hoop and piled up 17 points for South Whidbey.
Buck and Wrightson each finished with 10 points, Jacob Ng had 6 and Kole Nelson 2.
Buck did the dirty work for South Whidbey, coming up with several key rebounds and blocked shots, according to Turcott.
Buck also helped turn back Oak Harbor in the fourth quarter by scoring 8 points in the period.
“Levy had a great game,” Turcott said. “He is one of those guys that gets the big rebound when you need it.”