Carson Wrightson (21) was a second-team, all-conference player for the Falcons last winter. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Carson Wrightson (21) was a second-team, all-conference player for the Falcons last winter. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Winter prep preview / Boys basketball

The first season for a new coach is tricky, according to first-year South Whidbey boys basketball coach Greg Turcott, but it helps when the squad is loaded with talent.

The Falcons return seven lettermen, including four starters, from last year’s 14-8 club. Several seniors played key roles as sophomores when South Whidbey won its first conference championship in 29 years in 2017-18.

The one player the Falcons did lose to graduation, Kody Newman, led the team in scoring and was the North Sound Conference’s Most Valuable Player.

Back, however, are seniors Carson Wrightson and captain Levi Buck, second-team, all-league selections last winter, and Dexter Jokinen, who earned honorable mention. Wrightson picked up the honor despite missing half the season with a back injury. Jokinen was tabbed as the Falcons’ Defensive Player of the Year.

Turcott called Wrightson his “most talented” player, one who should have a huge impact if he can stay healthy.

Buck is “a very good player who really knows how to play the game,” according to Turcott.

In addition to being a defensive standout, Jokinen is a “terrific outside shooter,” Turcott said.

The fourth returning starter is Nick Young, who Turcott labeled a “great leader and great point guard.”

Last year’s sixth man, junior Sterling Patton, is a “smart player,” Turcott said, and senior Kole Nelson is a “tough kid who has a really good motor.”

Rounding out the returning letter winners is sophomore Jacob Ng, who is a “basketball junkie” who loves the game,” according to Turcott.

Seniors Andrew Fry and Wyatt De Mers and juniors Cody Eager and Luke Rookstool should also contribute, Turcott said.

One of the keys for success, according to Turcott, is for the team and new coach to get to know each other.

“I am trying to help the guys feel comfortable in a new system,” he said.

“The kids really liked coach (Mike) Washington,” Turcott added. “They had fun playing for him, and I want to keep that. I might coach differently, but I want the kids to love the game and to have a good time playing it.”

In addition to the team’s experience, a strength for the Falcons will be their size.

“At the end of the day, height is a big advantage at this level,” Turcott said.

“We also have a good mix of basketball players and good athletes,” he added.

Turcott noted his team does many things well, but it can’t stay stagnate if it wants to continue to succeed.

“We need to keep improving at both ends of the floor,” he said. “If we do that and continue to do the little things, we are going to have a really good year.”

“A really good year,” Turcott said, is reaching the state tournament.

“If we play hard and together, we will win some games and play late into March,” he said. “Getting to the state tournament would be a great thing for this team.”

The Falcons begin the season with four consecutive home games, starting with Chimacum (2-15 last year) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.

More in Sports

Falcons fall twice / Girls basketball

It was a rugged weekend for the South Whidbey High School girls… Continue reading

Early barrage carries South Whidbey over Coupeville / Boys basketball

The first three minutes set the tone as the South Whidbey High… Continue reading

North Sound Conference set to merge with Emerald City League

In a search for competitive balance, the North Sound Conference will merge… Continue reading

Tuesday’s basketball games postponed

South Whidbey High School’s basketball games scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 14, have… Continue reading

5 Falcons place at Darrington tournament / Wrestling

The South Whidbey High School wrestling team took sixth out of 10… Continue reading

Falcons split weekend games / Girls basketball

The South Whidbey High School girls basketball team recovered from a 62-33… Continue reading

South Whidbey uses outside attack to shoot down Eagles / Boys basketball

A long-range assault spurred the South Whidbey High School boys basketball team… Continue reading

Road woes continue for Falcons / Boys basketball

When it comes to boys basketball in the North Sound Conference, King’s… Continue reading

Solid effort carries Falcons to conference win / Girls basketball

A strong all-around game with plenty of help from throughout the lineup… Continue reading

Coleman takes 2nd, Falcons 6th at tournament / Wrestling

Seven South Whidbey High School wrestlers placed at the Gus Compton Invitational… Continue reading

South Whidbey wins twice / Girls basketball

Showing its mental toughness, the South Whidbey High School girls basketball team… Continue reading

Falcons soar with 2 high-scoring wins / Boys basketball

Propelled by a high-octane offense, the South Whidbey High School boys basketball… Continue reading