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Friday Harbor girls take league lead in 48-34 win over La Conner | Girls Basketball
The Wolverines rang up 11 unanswered points to take control of a tightly-contested game early in the second half, and then took care of business at the free-throw line to upend La Conner 48-34 Jan. 22 at home in Turnbull Gym.
Junior Kelsey Barnes tossed in 15 points and Maggie Andersen had 14 to lead Friday Harbor, which outscored the Braves 15-5 in the third quarter and knocked down 7-of-11 free-throw attempts in the final period to seal the victory.
Friday Harbor was 16-of-27 at the charity stripe for the game.
Sophomore Larissa Nash dropped in five points to match her season high.
With the win, the Wolverines penned another chapter in a transformational — almost fairy-tale-like — season, rising from a four-year stint in league cellar to a lofty perch as a title contender. They avenged an early-season loss at La Conner, notched their sixth league win in a row and grabbed sole possession of first place in the Northwest 1A/2B League standings thanks to the victory.
At 6-1 in league, the team has twice as many wins in league play as it managed last season, and there's still five more to come.
"Unbelievable," senior Kayla Short said of the feeling of being at the top.
Andersen added, "It feels so good. Going from the bottom of the barrel to the top, it definitely shows how all the hard work has paid off."
No one worked harder on the defensive end than Short, who limited Megan Raymond, the Braves' top scorer, to just eight points, while tallying nine of her own. Down by three at the break, La Conner, outscored 28-17 in the second half, finished the contest without a single player in double digits.
The Braves, at 5-2, fell into a three-way tie with Darrington and Orcas for second place in the league standings.
Head Coach Eric Jangard noted that Barnes, who began the season slowly because of an off-season knee injury, have given the Wolverines a big lift in recent weeks as her stamina and game steadily returns.
"Kelsey has really turned in up a notch in our past three games," Jangard said. "That just really opens it up for us on the offensive end, and especially from the outside."
Next: The Wolverines host Darrington at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29. The date was incorrect in the Jan. 27 Journal.
The Wolverines are on the road Jan. 30 at Shoreline Christian and travel to Orcas Feb. 2 for a pivotal match up against the Vikings. They end regular-season play with a three-game home stretch, beginning Feb. 9 against Concrete.
Saturday, Jan. 23
Nooksack Valley 55, Friday Harbor 39
The Wolverines started quick but fell flat after the opening period in a 54-33 loss Saturday at Nooksack Valley.
Trailing 12-10 at the end of the opening period, the Pioneers caught fire on their home court in the second period and took a commanding lead into the locker room at the half on the strength of a 21-6 run before the break. Nooksack Valley's Austen Beard tossed in game-high 16 points.
The Wolverines never recovered. They traded baskets with Division 1A Pioneers (9-5 overall) in the third period, but couldn't sliced into the deficit. They fell further behind in the fourth quarter, as Nooksack Valley sealed the non-conference victory by outscoring visitors 14-4 in the final period.
Kayla Short tallied 10 points to lead the Wolverines, Liz Taylor added seven.