Any high school senior would be thrilled to light up the scoreboard with a career-high in the final game on their home court. Friday Harbor's Jean Melborne is no exception.
Still, Melborne would have been even happier with a win, and Friday Harbor almost had it.
"I know we didn't win, but we played so well together as a team," she said in the wake of the Wolverines 43-58 league loss at home, Jan. 31, against 2B Shoreline Christian. "It was a good way to end it."
Melborne, the team’s only senior, tallied 19 points to lead the Wolverines (1-6 league, 4-15 overall) on the offensive end in the regular-season finale. She scored eight of the team's first 10 points, as Friday Harbor jumped out to an early six-point lead. The Crusaders (4-3 league, 12-7 overall) closed the gap in the second period and trailed the Wolverines by two points, at 18-16, at the half.
The two teams traded buckets after the break until 6-foot Shoreline Christian junior Bella Hermesch sank a pair of free throws midway through the fourth and final period, giving the Crusaders their first lead of the contest, at 32-31, one they would cling to for the remainder of the game. Hermesch tossed in 21 points, including 9-of-12 free-throw attempts, to lead all scorers. Junior Sarah Ott contributed 15.
Junior Tabatha Keane added 12 points to the Wolverines total. Earlier in the week, Keane lit up the scoreboard with 24 points as the Wolverines notched their first league win by dealing 2B Cedar Park Christian, winless in league play, a 57-34 defeat. Melborne added 10.
"It wasn't as emotional for me during the game as I thought it was going to be," Melborne, a four-year varsity player, said of her final game for the Wolverines in Turnbull Gym. "But as soon as I fouled out (in the waning moments of the final period) it started to be emotion for me in a hurry."
In addition to notching a career-high in points, Melborne said that she had never fouled out of a game before as well, or at least not that she could recall.
The Wolverines opened post-season play Monday, Feb. 4, on the road against Kings High School (10-4, 12-7) in the District 1 tournament. Seeded No. 7 in the eight-team double-elimination playoff, the Wolverines will face Mount Baker or Blaine, either in the winners bracket or in the consolation round, depending on the outcome against Kings.
(Results unavailable prior to the Journal’s Monday press deadline; see www.sanjuanjournal.com)