Dominating the boards helped the South Whidbey High School girls basketball team dominate the game, defeating visiting Coupeville 49-25 Friday, Jan. 18.
The Falcons out rebounded Coupeville 15-2 in the first quarter to roll to a 14-4 lead. South Whidbey upped the rebounding margin to 24-9 in the second period, and as a result, pushed its lead on the scoreboard to 24-10 at halftime.
Coupeville Coach David King said, "They really pounded the boards on the offensive end. They jumped out early and didn't let up and we just couldn't recover."
The Wolves corrected the rebounding problem in the third quarter, out boarding the Falcons 9-4, but developed another hitch, turnovers. Coupeville committed only seven turnovers in the first half but booted the ball nine times in the third quarter and trailed 34-16 heading into the fourth period.
King said his team picked up its defensive pressure and tried to push the ball in the fourth quarter, but "South Whidbey just had confidence and the momentum from outplaying us, and we were not able to mount a comeback."
King did see some positives among individuals. He said, "Bessie (Walstad) played a smart game and looked to provide a spark on offense. Jai'Lysa Hoskins had another strong performance on the defensive end along with many hustle plays. Bree (Messner) had a strong game from the point guard position with only three turnovers."
The Wolves need to pick up their play at the defensive end, King said, and everything else will fall into place. He added, "We aren't playing defense like we did earlier in the season when we were successful. We need to get back to defense first. Once we do this our offense will follow."
The Wolves are working hard and having good practices, King said, but once they get behind in the games they "starting pressing and trying to do to much."
Walstad led Coupeville with nine points, Amanda Fabrizi scored four, Hoskins three, Messner two, Lauren Escalle two, Haley Marx two, Hailey Hammer two and Madi Stransburg one.
Hayley Newman had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Falcons.
South Whidbey (4-6, 9-8) moved a game ahead of Coupeville in the Cascade Conference standings (3-7, 5-11) with the win. It also avenged a 39-24 loss to the Wolves earlier this season.
Coupeville plays Sultan (4-6, 4-12) at home at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. Sultan defeated Coupeville 30-27 Dec. 18.