Basketball season goes into overtime with schedule delays

The end of Friday Harbor High School’s basketball season is quickly coming to an end. Bouts with COVID, however, postponed the final games for both the boys and girls teams.

Both girls and boys away games in LaConner were postponed the day of, bumping the rest of the games back as well. Currently, the reschedule still sets the last regular game of the season to an away at Coupeville High School on Saturday, Feb. 12. The girls are scheduled to play at noon and the boys at 1:30 p.m. This may be subject to change. If the girls win the Coupeville game, they will play Coupeville a third time in a tie-breaker. Whoever wins will advance to the playoffs. If the boys win their last game, Friday Harbor will be participating in a playoff game against LaConner to see who will move on to districts.

Despite the unpredictability of the last game’s date, the team is still working hard to prepare. Girls’ coach Sue Grenfell said, “For our last regular season game, we are concentrating on playing with better timing, spacing, and shot selection on offense, on more consistent containment on defense, and overall playing with mental toughness for four quarters, no matter the score. We want to end the season feeling like we have played with a team-first mindset from start to finish.”

The boys are also working hard towards a successful last game, said the boy’s coach Collin Williamson. They suffered a loss against Coupeville on Friday, Feb. 4. The final score was 56-53. The game was intense, with the clock running into overtime.

“It was an exciting game that could have gone either way,” said Williamson. “My coaching staff is taking care of our team right now, and we are going to be ready for LaConner.”

Williamson was right as they bounced back scoring a strong win of 66-41 against LaConner Feb. 9.

Unlike the boys, the girls’ have not competed since the Feb. 4 home game against Coupeville. They lost 39-25.

The team was led by Mia Blackmon and Sheya Welty, who each scored eight points. Ashley Lawson also led the team by rebounding with 10 points.

The home game on Feb. 4 also served as senior night for both teams.

Grenfell wanted to give a shout-out to some of the seniors on the team.

Senior Kalli Zappelli, for example, has only played two years. She picked up the sport after moving to the island from Argentina.

“Despite her inexperience with the sport, she earned a spot on varsity this year due to her athleticism, her speed, and her great attitude,” Grenfell said. “She sees the court very well, and contributes to the team with her energy and positivity.”

Ella Mason is one of the co-captains, and is in her third year on the varsity team. She has not been able to play at all this year due to a significant back injury, but still has been completely invested in the team by showing support.

“She has just been invaluable with her leadership and energy,” Grenfell noted. “She is at practice every day, encouraging and supporting her teammates. She has really good insight into what her teammates need, whether it be some pointers on post positioning, a pep talk, or some help calming down. Ella has been a rock for us all year.”

Ashley Lawson is another co-captain. She is a two-year starter and in her third year on varsity.

“Ashley has improved tremendously, both offensively and defensively. She is one of our best defensive players, has learned how to run the floor on offense, and has really developed her shooting range,” Grenfell said. “She has also been an excellent leader for us this year. She gets practice started for us, she is always the first to step up for any drill, and she embraces and supports our team values and culture.”

Both teams continue to work hard while they hang-tight and wait to see if the schedule remains the same.