Wolverine boys pull within five points of So. Whidbey, but fall short | Sports Roundup

By Jeff VanDerford
South Whidbey Record

The South Whidbey boys basketball team remains undefeated at 3-0 after beating Friday Harbor 54-47 in a non-conference match-up Saturday, at South Whidbey.

The main problem faced last week, mainly a lack in intensity in the third quarter, threatened but didn’t overwhelm.

Friday Harbor demonstrated a scrappy offense led by Wolverine Austin Scheffer, but their inexperience — this was their first game of the season — showed early as the Falcons led 16-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The danger is that a team will play down to the opponent’s level and Falcon Coach Scott Collins warned his players to watch for it.

“We tend to get into an early lead then let the other guys back into the game,” Collins said. “We just need to be more aggressive in the third.”

Scheffer’s furious bump-and-run tactics couldn’t stave off the Falcon offense with Riley Newman — four three-pointers of five attempted — on his way to 21 points, followed by Scott Stallman with 15.

The Falcon defense was led by Adrian Cortes, who cornered the ball and passed to Chris Carey, Newman or Jeff Blasko for one fast break after another.

Second-quarter highlights were few as South Whidbey maintained pressure. Cole Erikson fired a nice three-pointer and Carey showed selfless offense, getting the ball to Stallman or Newman. At the half, the Falcons were ahead 29-14.

As the third quarter began, South Whidbey let errors and fouls get the better of them, allowing the Wolverines to pull within five points. The potent Falcon offense of the first half began to crumble as Friday Harbor stepped up its game.

With the score 40-35, South Whidbey entered the final period somewhat energized. The Wolverines refused to fold their tent, making some nice center court moves, but it was too little, too late.

Falcon Jordan Thornley was fouled and picked up the magic 50th point with 1:26 left; Newman and Carey made the final shots for the 54-47 final.

“They were a lot more game-ready than we were,” Wolverine Coach Rod Turnbull said. “We spent a lot of energy getting within five points and just couldn’t get anything more. But our guys never quit. The Falcons are a well-coached team and it showed today.”

Collins noted that, while always good to start a season 3-0, Cascade Conference play is another story.

“We have some very good, very talented guys on the team but there's still a whole lot of work to do before league starts,” he said.

Next: The Wolverines (0-1) travel to Seattle Academy Saturday. They host the La Conner Braves Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.

Girls fall to South Whidbey in opener, 50-37
The Friday Harbor girls basketball team got off to an impressive start anyway you look at it.

That includes the final score, which, despite a 13-point loss, may signal dramatic improvement for a Wolverines’ squad that dropped its season-opener at South Whidbey the past two years by 30 points a piece.

Friday Harbor trailed by only six at the half Saturday and was within striking distance until the waning minutes of the fourth and final period. That’s despite taking the court with only eight players suited up, including four freshmen, and against a Division 2A team that had two games under its belt, as well as home court advantage.

“Given the circumstances, I was very encouraged by the whole thing,” Head Coach Eric Jangard said. “We were still within two points halfway into the fourth quarter.”

Sophomore Maggie Anderson shot 50-percent-plus from the field in tallying a career-high 20 points, on 10-of-16 shooting, while fellow sophomore Kelsey Barnes grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds in the 50-37 season-opening loss to the Falcons. Barnes also launched a 3-point shot that hit nothing but net in notching the first trey of her high school career.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll never hear the end of that,” Jangard quipped about the rarely-bashful Barnes, who pulled down 16 boards and scored seven points despite being down-teamed throughout the game.

The Falcons’ Lindsey Newman led all scorers with 27 points. South Whidbey improved to 1-2 with the victory.

Next: The Wolverines (0-1) host the La Conner Braves Tuesday, 6 p.m.

— Scott Rasmussen

Franklin shines on field, in classroom
Friday Harbor’s Cole Franklin is turning heads and making a name on and off the football field at Linfield College.

Franklin, a sophomore, led the nationally-renown Wildcats to their 53rd consecutive winning season after taking over as starting quarterback early this season. Despite a lingering ankle sprain, suffered in the second game of the season, Franklin topped the team in rushing yards while leading the Wildcats to a 5-1 conference mark and 6-3 record overall.

A perennial NCAA Division III powerhouse, Linfield boasts the longest winning streak of any team in all divisions of the NCAA. The Wildcats own four Division III national football titles, the most recent in 2004, and two in baseball.

Franklin, a 2007 Friday Harbor graduate, guided the Wolverines to back-to-back appearances at the 1A state tournament in 2005 and in 2006.

In addition to his accomplishments on the gridiron, Franklin earned a slot on Linfield’s Dean’s List in spring. A mathematics major, his academic performance placed in the top 10 percent of the student body by achieving a GPA of over 3.78.

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