Early foul trouble only added to their woes as the Wolverines’ shooting touch played hide-and-seek in a 62-45 loss to Lynden Christian, Saturday, in Turnbull Gym.
Trailing 15-8 after the first period, Friday Harbor continued to struggle from the field and, more importantly, at the free-throw line in the second quarter. They managed just seven points in the period and went into the locker room down by double-digits, at 32-18, at the break.
The free-throw stripe, where Head Coach Eric Jangard noted that the Wolverines knocked down only 4-of-15 attempts in the first half, and 13-of-31 for the game, stood out as an area of missed opportunities in particular.
“We lost by 17 and missed 18 shots at the free-throw line,” Jangard said. “That’s a big part of it right there.”
Lynden Christian’s Jasmine Hommes, a 6-foot 1-inch junior, tallied 16 of her game-high 20 points before the break. Senior Alisha Friberg added 13 in game for the Lyncs (11-2).
Friday Harbor leading scorer Maggie Andersen, hobbled by an ankle injury, never got on track in the opening half. Whistled for her fourth foul with under a minute gone in the second period, Andersen managed just five first-half points and 11 for the game. Senior low-post player Kelsey Barnes tossed in 15 points to pace the Wolverines and point-guard Mandy Turnbull added seven.
Despite the outcome, Jangard praised the Wolverines for a determined second-half effort and for improvement from last year’s outing against a perennially deep and talented, and a tenacious, Lynden Christian squad. They suffered a 33-point defeat, 55-22, on the Lyncs home court a year ago.
“Our goal was to compete for a full 32 minutes, and we did,” he said. “We could have shot better, but other than that, it was probably our best game of the year.”
With the loss, Friday Harbor (8-4 overall, 5-1 league) ends up with a split in jockeying for post-season position against its regional 1A rivals. The Wolverines defeated Coupeville and Nooksack Valley earlier this season. They lost by two, 32-30, at Meridian on Jan. 8.
The Wolverines open the second-half of Northwest 1A/2B League play on the road, Tuesday, at La Conner; tip off is 4:30 p.m. They host Concrete Friday; tip off is 5:45 p.m.
Friday Harbor 42
Cedar Park Christian 24
Senior Kelsey Barnes topped all scorers with 16 points as the Wolverines overcame a rash of injuries and illnesses, as well as an overmatched Eagles squad, to notch win No. 5 in league play with a 42-24 victory on the road Jan. 14 at Cedar Park Christian.
With leading scorer Maggie Andersen sidelined by an ankle injury, guard Larissa Nash, a junior, tallied eight points to help pick up the slack on the offensive end.
Barnes and Nash together matched the entire Eagles’ squad point-for-point over a full 32 minutes of play. In addition to Andersen, the Wolverines posted the victory without the services of starting guard Liz Taylor (illness), and without backup forward Margaret Nash (shoulder).
The Wolverines led 22-9 at the break and then outscored Cedar Park Christian, winless in Northwest 1A/2B League competition, at 0-6, in the second half by a score of 20-15 to clinch the win.
Friday Harbor, the defending Northwest 1A/2B League champ, trails Darrington by a game in the race for the league title. The Wolverines (5-1 league) and the Loggers (6-0) will square off Jan. 29 at Darrington in the second matchup of their two-game regular-season series.