Strong 2nd-half defense leads Falcons to win / Girls basketball

Limiting Granite Falls to just 6 second-half points, the South Whidbey High School girls basketball team beat the host Tigers 36-27 Friday, Jan. 24.

The win kept the Falcons (3-4, 9-9) within striking distance of Coupeville (4-2, 10-4) for third place in the North Sound Conference standings.

South Whidbey hosts Sultan (1-5, 5-11) at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the final regular season home game, then heads to Coupeville for the regular-season finale at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4.

In addition to playing South Whidbey, Coupeville plays first-place King’s (4-0, 13-4) and Granite Falls.

South Whidbey 37, Granite Falls 27

Down 21-15 at halftime, South Whidbey’s defense stiffened, forcing Granite Falls into numerous turnovers and bad shots in the second half.

While the Falcon defense stymied the Tigers, their offense picked up a notch after the break. Liz Haines drilled a three-pointer, Emma Hodson and Arianna Briggs sank field goals and Madi Knauer connected on a pair of free throws in the third quarter, spurring the Falcons to a 25-23 lead going into the fourth period.

Three-balls from Haines and Ella Wood helped South Whidbey pull away in the fourth quarter, according to coach Jeff Hanson.

The Falcons also received a bucket and free throw from Isabelle Wood, a field goal from Briggs and a free throw from Kayla Knauer in the decisive fourth period.

Granite Falls jumped to an 8-6 lead in the first quarter. The Falcons stayed close with hoops from Madi Knauer, Briggs and Isabell Wood.

A pair of Falcons (Isabelle Wood, 6; Hodson, 3) combined to score all 9 South Whidbey second-period points.

The Tigers scored 13 points in the quarter, getting 6 from Makena McGill, who led Granite Falls in scoring for the game with 9.

Isabelle Wood topped South Whidbey with a game-high 10 points. Briggs and Haines each tallied 6, Hodson 5, Madi Knauer 4, Ella Wood 3 and Kayla Knauer 1.-