Friday Harbor defeats Orcas 54-43, strengthen grip on league title | Girls Basketball

Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor's Kelsey Barnes (54) scored 14 points and had 17 rebounds in the Wolverines' 54-43 defeat of Orcas, Feb. 2 at Orcas. The win tightened Friday Harbor's grip on first place. Here, Barnes vies for position vs. Shoreline Christian in an earlier game.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen / file photo

The Friday Harbor girls basketball team moved one giant step closer to clinching its first league title in more than 20 years with an impressive 54-43 win on the road Feb. 2 at Orcas.

Trailing 8-5 at the end of the first period, the Wolverines turned that three-point deficit into a seven-point half-time advantage as junior low-post player Kelsey Barnes dominated the paint and the glass at both ends of the court in the second period. They outscored the Vikings 15-5 in that pivotal second period, with Barnes tallying eight points, and turned the tables on the home team to claim a 20-13 edge at the break.

It was a lead they never relinquished.

Barne tossed in a team-high 14 points and pulled down 17 rebounds. Junior Maggie Andersen, who notched a double-double as well, had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"They came out strong and really attacked us, like we knew they would," Head Coach Eric Jangard said. "In the second quarter, we started feeding Barnes down low and they couldn't stop her."

Orcas senior Lannie Padbury, who scored a game-high 18 points, and teammate Stephanie Shaw, who scored 15, together had 33 of the Vikings' 43 points. The Wolverines, however, held the rest of the Vikings to just 10 points.

With the victory, the Wolverines notched their ninth consecutive win in league play, and improved to 9-1 in Northwest 1A/2B League competition and 12-5 overall. They also solidified their position at the top of the league standings by sweeping their two-game season series against the second-place Vikings.

The Wolverines host Concrete on Feb. 9 and Mount Vernon Christian Feb. 12, in the final two league games.

Jangard credits the team's role players for stepping up on the offensive end in the second half. Sophomore Liz Taylor knocked down back-to-back shots from beyond the three-point arc and fellow sophomore Larissa Nash drained a three-pointer that buoyed the Wolverines after the break as well. Taylor had nine points, Nash scored seven and senior Kayla Short finished the game with eight.

The Wolverines dominated the glass on both ends of the court, out-rebounding the Vikings 41-24, of which 33 came on the defensive end.

"We knew Padbury and Shaw would get their points," Jangard said. "But we wanted to limit them to just one shot as much as we could. That was a big part of the game plan."

The teams traded buckets after the break, each scoring 15 points in the third period. The Wolverines, still nursing a seven-point lead, cushioned that advantage and then sealed the victory with a near-perfect performance at the free-throw line in the final period. They netted 10-of-12 attempts at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter and were 14-of-20 at the free-throw line for the game.

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