Falcons Reflect on 24-Win Season

  • Written by Derek Johnson
In those final, fleeting moments, the season was on the brink. Woodinville and Glacier Peak battled to avoid elimination from the Hardwood Classic. It was frantic defense, high-pressure shots, and the do-or-die desperation of state tournament basketball.
“I was trying not to think about it, but it was in the back of my mind,” Woodinville’s Morgan Lundquist said. “I knew we had to get a stop, we had to convert, and we needed to get the ball in the bucket. You’re trying to keep the thoughts that this could be the end out of your mind. But it was creeping in a little bit.”
As time ran out, Glacier Peak players stormed the court in celebration of their 53-51 win. The crestfallen Falcons walked off the court, gathered their things, and headed for the locker room.
It was a tough way to end the season. Woodinville entered the tourney as the #1 seed. But after beating Sunnyside in the first round, tough losses to Kentridge and Glacier Peak brought the year to a close. Woodinville finished the campaign with a 24-5 record. 
thumbnail 20190228 5D IMG 0021 2A light-hearted moment at the Tacoma Dome. Left-to-right: Jordan Worthington, Abby Ruff, Rachel Moscatel, Maddy DuBois and Katie Minnehan (Photo by Don Borin)
“Today’s loss is a difficult thing to swallow for sure,” Woodinville assistant coach Sam Moscatel said. “These kids have worked so darn hard the whole year, and [in the short term] they’re not going to see what they’ve accomplished. They’re hurting. Eventually they will see that they won the Kingco Championship, the Wes-King Championship and had a great holiday tournament in San Diego.”
This season held significance for Moscatel. He had been coaching this group of seniors since grade school days, including his daughter Rachel. 
“Jordan, Abby, Morgan, Katie, Madison and Rachel -- I’ve been coaching them since fifth and sixth grade,” Moscatel said. “I have a special bond with them, and it really hurts because of that. [As a coach] you usually don’t stick with a group of kids that long. But all of them are great kids, they love each other. We had the tough game last night and today was a winnable game. But the kids didn’t quit, they kept fighting. It didn’t go our way and it’s sad to see the season end.”
Moscatel was asked for a favorite memory from the season. He cited the win over Eastlake on February 2 for the Kingco 4A Championship. It was Woodinville’s third straight conference championship.  
“After the game we went to Red Robin,” Moscatel said. “The kids were so happy. Our [game day] announcer Craig Wheeler happened to be there. He came over to our table and shouted to everyone, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN... INTRODUCING YOUR KINGCO CHAMPION LADY FALCONS! The kids were yelling and screaming and happy. It was just a great moment to see them all happy.”
Despite the tear-filled sorrow of the postgame, each senior shared their thoughts on the season.
Jordan Worthington
We were playing for each other and playing together. I’m just so proud how far we’ve come as a team. 
My favorite memory will be winning the first game of the tournament with Veronica [Sheffey’s] bucket in the last seconds to get the win [over Sunnyside]. That is a great memory.
Katie Minnehan
I just want to say that Woodinville basketball, it is the best part of high school for me. It’s not just one thing about it. It’s the people I’m playing with, it’s the people that we’re playing for, it’s the people who have invested time in us. It’s the character that everyone has shown. It makes me very happy. I have an overwhelming amount of love for everyone that has been a part of this journey.
I definitely feel like I’ve grown [as a person] and it’s not just me by myself. It’s everyone that’s around me pushing me to be better. It’s the people having faith in me, which is the biggest part of this all.
Abby Ruff
I’ve just so thankful for this experience and this most amazing team that supports me and each other. We’ve worked so hard all season and it has been an amazing experience that I will remember forever.
Through everything that has happened [to me] this season, they’ve always supported me. It has been an amazing season and I love everyone on this team so much.
Mademoiselle Maddy DuBois
It goes by really fast, you know? I wouldn’t trade the last four years for the world. I love these girls. There’s nothing that beats playing with your best friends. And that’s what I did. This season especially was special because people didn’t think we would be here today. We proved a lot of people wrong. We battled every game, never gave up. We had fun in practice, had fun together.
I’m going to miss walking into the gym every day and seeing my best friends. Working hard for each other, playing for each other. Getting ready for game days together, all that fun stuff. Playing for our coaches. We literally have the two best coaches in the state, bottom line. We had the privilege of playing for Sam since sixth grade. And [playing for one coach that long is not] something a lot of girls get to experience.
A lot of coaches, I think they don’t make the game fun for the girls. But our coaches do. We always worked hard in practice but they always made it light-hearted and fun. I think one of the keys that got us so far is that we didn’t take everything so heavily. And our coaches know their stuff. They’re really smart basketball people. They’ve been doing this a long time. They connect with us girls, and they’re special coaches. We’re going to miss them a lot.
Rachel Moscatel
I’m so blessed to play with my best friends. And not a lot of people get to say that their dad has been their coach for eight years. That’s something so special that we’re both going to remember the rest of our lives. I can’t even express how much I’m going to miss this team. I love every single one of my teammates and I would take a bullet for anyone on this team.
Abby [Ruff] is such a strong person. She has gone through so much these past few years and she is an inspiration to us. She has been there for the team, even with her hardships. She cheered us on and never had a bad attitude. And that’s what every team needs -- someone who can lift you up when you’re down, even while they’re going through a hard time.
Instead of going back home tonight, we’re going to spend one final night at the team hotel. That is going to be good for us to have one more night together as a team. Just to bring it all in, embrace, look over our season, and just be together and enjoy the moment. For us seniors, these are my dogs. Having one more night with them will be special. In this painful moment it’s hard to think back to all the great things we’ve accomplished this season, But I think we need to do it. 
Morgan Lundquist
Honestly it’s hard for me to sort through my emotions at this moment. I’ve been playing with these girls for forever. It seems like a blink of an eye and my career is over. It feels like the other day we were fifth graders. I couldn’t even dribble back then, I was so bad. And here we are at the Tacoma Dome. I think we’ve proved people wrong by getting here. And I just love these girls.
One of my favorite moments was the San Diego trip. It was so fun and we were playing for each other. And the Tacoma Dome is like what you dream of in the beginning of the season. That’s what you work for all year. You get your wins to try to make it to the Tacoma Dome and make it as far as you can. And I love these girls and I’m so happy that we got here. Even though we lost today, I’m so proud of everything we’ve achieved this season. It has been a great ride.

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