The Friday Harbor girls basketball team suffered its first loss of the season as Mount Baker weathered a furious fourth-quarter rally and sealed a hotly-contested 53-46 victory at the free-throw line Tuesday in Turnbull Gym.
Junior Kristen Frey paced the Mountaineers (6-3) with a team-high 15 points and teammate Connor Hart added 12, including a jumper in the lane that put an end to an 8-0 run by the Wolverines and Mount Baker up by four with just over three minutes left in regulation.
They dropped in three buckets from the free-throw line and outscored Friday Harbor 7-2 before the buzzer sounded.
The Wolverines, who missed their first 10 shots of the game, trailed 14-4 after the first quarter and played catch-up the rest of the way.
They went into the locker room down 31-15 at the break as the Division 2A Mountaineers, fueled by a swarming full-court press, took advantage of a cold-shooting and turnover-prone Friday Harbor squad in the opening half.
“The first half was rough,” Friday Harbor point-guard Mandy Turnbull said. “But we needed to see that before we play Lynden Christian and Darrington. They’ll both have the same kind of defensive pressure.”
With the loss, the Wolverines fell to 6-1 on the season and will resume Northwest 1A/2B League play Tuesday at home against Darrington.
The Wolverines shot 30 percent from the field for the game, knocking down 18 of 60 attempts, but made only 20 percent in the opening half.
Senior Kelsey Barnes tossed in a game-high 19 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Leading scorer Maggie Andersen, who picked up her third foul before the break and sat out the final four minutes of the opening half, managed just four first-half points and 13 for the game.
“They’re a better team than we’ve played up until now,” Andersen said. “It took us a little too long for us to get our game together and we hadn’t been that far down before.”
The Wolverines host Northwest 1A/2B League rival Darrington Tuesday; tip off is 5:30 p.m. in Turnbull Gym. They are on the road for three-straight games, beginning Jan. 7 at Mount Vernon Christian.