Sometimes in life, no matter how much you fight, claw and scratch, it’s just not enough. This summarized the Lady Falcons of Woodinville. They lost their second round KingCo tourney game against Inglemoor 53-36, which was their sixth straight loss to their rival dating back to last season.
The Lady Falcons are everything you’d want in a team. They’re talented, balanced, patient and mature on offense. They fly around like fighter pilots on defense. And the players care for each other deeply.
But like the 1981-82 Philadelphia 76ers, they lack a big-time presence in the middle. That talented Sixers team couldn’t beat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Los Angeles Lakers. It took the off-season signing of Moses Malone to provide an answer to Abdul-Jabbar. One year later, the Sixers swept LA and won the NBA title.
Of course, there was no way for Woodinville to acquire a female Moses Malone. There was no way to counter Inglemoor’s front court of Deja Strother (6’4”), Kennedy Nicholas (6’2”) and Alex Hagen (6’1”). The Woodinville fighter pilots were raging against multiple Godzillas.
And so last Saturday, when Kennedy Nicholas buried a 3-pointer to give Inglemoor a 15-4 lead, it looked like a long night ahead for Woodinville.
But as always, the Falcons weren’t going down without a fight. Freshman point guard Regan Schenck suddenly caught fire from the outside, knocking down five 3-pointers — and a mid-range jumper — to scorch Inglemoor for 17 first half points.
Woodinville’s swarming defense, along with key shots from Emily Spencer and Gabi Glessner, enabled them to pull within 32-29 at halftime.
However, Inglemoor managed to keep Woodinville at arm’s length. With 5:00 left in the game, the Vikings led 43-36, before pulling away to win by 17.
“We stayed in it and stayed aggressive,” Woodinville’s Gabby Phillips said. “But our shots weren’t falling and rebounding-wise we could’ve done better. But we played well and really there was nothing more we could do.”
“We were ready and wanted it really badly,” Falcon guard Spencer said. “We believed that we could win. But it didn’t happen.”
Woodinville coach Scott Bullock expressed pride in his team.
“Our girls played hard,” he said. “We played them for three quarters and probably scared the daylights out of them. Early on, Regan’s three pointers kept us in the game. But we just couldn’t score [late].
“Inglemoor is a bigger, taller and a more experienced team,” he said. “Especially with their zone, they go 6’4”, 6’2” and 6’1” across the bottom. And those girls come out deep, so it’s hard to score against that.”
Woodinville moves on to the loser’s bracket, where they’ll play Skyline on Feb. 17. The Lady Falcons must win three consecutive tourney games this week to advance to State. They won’t go down without a fight. As former 76er Julius Erving once said, “To be great we need to win games we aren’t supposed to win.”