Wolverines prevail over South Whidey in season opener; 41-35 | Girls Basketball

Friday Harbor's Jean Melborne drives the lane in the Wolverines 41-35 season-opening victory

With Saturday’s season-opener in the bag, the Wolverines will be looking for their second straight victory tonight, Tuesday, when Northwest 1A/2B League rival Concrete comes to town.

Tip off is 6 p.m. in Turnbull Gym.

On Saturday, junior Jean Melborne scored a game-high 12 points and senior Liz Taylor added nine as Friday Harbor notched a 41-35 victory over South Whidbey in its season-opener at home. It’s the second year in a row that the Wolverines prevailed over South Whidey, a Division 2A team, to open the season.

But the Falcons didn’t go down easy.

Trailing 30-19 at the start of the fourth quarter, South Whidbey rattled the Wolverines with a frenetic full court press, cashed in on successive turnovers, and outscored the home team 16-5 to tie the score at 35 apiece with 1:50 minutes left in regulation.

The Wolverines turned the tables on the Falcons’ late-game rally at the free-throw line, however, as Taylor and fellow senior Mandy Turnbull knocked down four successive free throws, to help Friday Harbor preserved the win down the stretch.

The Wolverines sank 6-of-9 free-throw attempts in the pivotal final period and shot an impressive 71 percent at the free-throw line, hitting on 15-of-21 attempts, for the game. Head Coach Eric Jangard credits pre-season conditioning for the Wolverines steady hand at the charity stripe.

“I’d contribute it to our conditioning,” Jangard said of the players prowess at the line. “We’ve been going pretty hard at it in practice.”

Turnbull chipped in seven points and Larissa Nash added five.

Next:

Following Tuesday’s home game against Concrete, the Wolverines are on the road Saturday for a 2:15 p.m. showdown against Orcas. They travel to Darrington Dec. 13 for a league bout at Darrington, the defending Northwest 1A/2B League champ.