Showing its mettle after blowing a lead, the South Whidbey High School boys basketball team recovered to defeat visiting Bellevue Christian 52-50 Saturday, Jan. 5, in a non-conference game.
The Falcons also snared a league win over visiting Sultan 62-35 Friday.
Next up for South Whidbey (2-0, 8-3), winners of seven straight, is an early showdown for the North Sound Conference lead when King’s (3-0, 8-4) visits at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.
South Whidbey 52, Bellevue Christian 50
Bellevue Christian is one of the state’s top 1A programs, earning state berths 10 times since 2001.
Undaunted, the Falcons blitzed BC early. Kody Newman exploded for 16 points and South Whidbey raced to a 24-9 lead in the first quarter.
The Falcons were sizzling in the period, hitting their first five three-point attempts (three by Newman).
South Whidbey cooled off, Bellevue Christian started taking care of the ball and the Vikings began working their way back into the game.
Ken West scored 10 points and BC trimmed the gap to 36-29 at halftime.
The Falcons scored only 5 points in the third period and Bellevue Christian hit the quarter’s final 2 points to take its first lead 42-41.
Carson Wrightson and Kole Nelson started the fourth quarter with hoops for South Whidbey, but BC battled back to go up 48-47 with 2:47 remaining.
The Falcons’ Dexter Jokinen drilled a three-pointer from the corner to regain the lead, 50-48.
Two BC free throws tied the game, then Levi Buck scored the game winner for the Falcons off an offensive rebound with 12 seconds left.
Wrightson blocked the Vikings’ attempt to tie the game with five seconds remaining.
Bellevue Christian (6-4) had only one team foul at that point and could not send the Falcons to the line in hopes of regaining possession after a potential miss.
Newman ended with 26 points and three assists; and Wrightson scored 8 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Jokinen scored 9 points, Buck 4, Sterling Patton 3 and Nelson 2.
Nick Young dished out three assists.
West had 16 points for the Vikings.
“I liked the resilience and fight the kids played with after being up by 15 at the end of the first and then when BC took the lead twice in the fourth quarter,” coach Mike Washington said. “The kids didn’t give up.
“Kody is a warrior, as he played 32 minutes; he routinely plays close to 32 minutes a game and brings the energy we need.
“Dexter hit a huge three, and Levi and Carson controlled the boards.”
South Whidbey 62, Sultan 35
Newman scored 8 of his game-high 30 points in the first period, and South Whidbey took a 20-11 lead and was never challenged by the Turks (2-1, 2-8).
The Falcons led 33-22 at halftime, and Wrightson scored 8 points in the third quarter as South Whidbey boosted its lead to 50-32.
Newman also had eight steals and six rebounds. Wrightson finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Jokinen added 6 points, Young 5, Patton 2 and Wyatt De Mers 1. Patton chipped in with six rebounds.
Austin Weideman led Sultan with 12 points.