It certainly isn’t their last, but Friday Harbor saved its best for the team that it wanted a win against the most.
Senior Donald Galt tossed in a game-high 24 points and point-guard C.J. Woods added 18, knocking down 7-of-10 free-throw attempts along the way, as the Wolverines (5-0 league, 10-7 overall) catapulted to the top of the Northwest 1A/2B League standings with a 64-52 upset at home, Friday, over previously unbeaten La Conner.
“It’s a pride thing,” said senior Ryan Allen, who got the start in place of leading scorer Collin Williamson, sidelined for the remainder of the year with a fractured right hand. “We hadn’t beaten them in four years. I wanted to be that person who steps up and helps out my team.”
With Williamson out of the lineup, Allen’s contributions on the defensive end and on the boards overshadowed the seven points that he added to the team total.
“He’s a big defensive presence for us,” Coach Rod Turnbull said. “And with Collin out, we needed that tonight.”
Galt scored 12 of his 24 points in the opening half, including two baskets from beyond the three-point arc, and Woods contributed eight, as the Wolverines erased a 3-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to take a 29-25 advantage into the locker room at the half. Galt and Turnbull both gave credit to a good practice the day before for getting the team sharp for its showdown against the Braves, who entered the league contest with 16 consecutive wins and without a single loss.
“There was a time when I think we thought all we had to do is just show up and we’d win,” Galt said. “We had a really good practice yesterday and tonight we just really worked together like a team.”
The third quarter proved pivotal. The Braves scored the first four points of the period to even the score at 29 apiece. But Galt buried a three-pointer to end the drought, and Woods tossed in a pair of free throws, and the Wolverines were off to the races, outscoring La Conner 12-2 to close out the quarter and take control of the game.
The two teams traded baskets over the final eight minutes of regulation and the Wolverines knocked down enough free throws, hitting on 17-of-26 for the game, to prevent the Braves from mounting a comeback.
Senior Spencer Novak scored 18 points to the lead the Braves and 6-foot eight-inch senior center Jonah Cook had 15.
“The way we played tonight was awesome,” Woods said. “We haven’t beaten those guys in four years. For us it was more than just about pride, it was a pride statement.”
The Wolverines face Division 1A regional rival Blaine on the road, Saturday, and are at Cedar Park Christian Tuesday. The are home for their regular-season finale, Thursday, against Shoreline Christian; tip off is 4 p.m. in Turnbull Gym.