In the first 10 seconds of the season’s first game, Regan Schenck drove into the corner and then buried a 3-pointer. It was a lead Woodinville would never surrender, en route to a 64-44 win over Tenison Woods College from Australia.
“I’ve been here 10 years and this is probably the fourth time we’ve played the Australians,” Woodinville coach Scott Bullock said. “We love to play this game.”
Tenison Woods hails from the city of Mount Gambier in southern Australia (population 25,000). The Catholic school kicked off a 26-day tour of the western United States by playing their first game against Woodinville.
“We just flew in,” TWC coach Daniel Stratford said. “We’re a bit rusty and jet lagged with the legs. But overall it’s a great experience. This is why we come, to play great quality teams like Woodinville. They’re obviously very well-coached. We had trouble containing their inside-outside game. But this is the first of our 10 games. Hopefully we will get better than what we showed tonight. But we’re here for the interaction and sights and friendships and the cultural interaction that the kids love.”
Woodinville jumped out to a 38-20 halftime lead. At times the Falcons looked a little ragged, but the athleticism is evident. One revelation was the play of freshman guard Madison Dubois, who connected on 5-of-10 from beyond the arc for 15 points. Regan Schenck scored 14 points and had 6 assists in just 22 minutes of play. Gabby Whalen led all scorers with 17 points, and sophomore Madison Lundquist scored 9 points and snared 10 rebounds.
“We didn’t have a great defensive effort tonight,” Bullock said. “We fouled too much tonight. We didn’t shut down some of the gaps and we lost some of our defensive assignments. But that’s all stuff we will work on.”
Tenison Woods player Olivia Dukalskis was asked her impression of the Lady Falcons. “They’ve been very nice and friendly and welcoming,” she said. “On the court, they’re a lot more physical than Australians!”
“I thought it was fun because we got to know them before our game,” Woodinville’s Madison Lundquist said. “We were sitting in the stands watching the JV teams, and we were listening to their accents. In Australia there are lots of random things that are different from here. We went down to the commons and hung out with them and they were sharing all these different words and slang that are different from here. They were really nice people.”
After the game, the Australian girls spent the night at the homes of the Falcon girls. The coaches stayed at coach Bullock’s home. After leaving Seattle, TWC will play games in Spokane, Portland, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego.
“They speak English but you would be amazed at the differences of culture,” Bullock said. “They always bring gifts, and it is fun. They’re the guests but they go out of their way to be so nice. It almost makes you feel guilty because they’re so nice.”