The 4A conference opener between Woodinville and North Creek got off to a slow start offensively with the Falcons trailing 9-8 at the end of the first quarter. But it finished with a flurry that saw the outcome determined in the final seconds.
Woodinville trailed the entire contest save for an early 4-3 lead. The Falcons were down 17-11 at the break and fell behind 40-29 with six seconds left in the third quarter.
But the home team went on a 14-4 run on the strength of an 8-point effort from Blake Glessner and four one-handed free throws from Carson Noe to make it 44-43 with 45 ticks left on the clock.
The Jaguars stretched their thin lead to 46-43 on a bucket with 30 seconds to go. Glessner was fouled on a drive to the hoop and was sent to the charity stripe for two shots. He sank the first one and coach Melton quickly called a time out to discuss defensive strategy. Glessner sank the second offering to make it 46-45 and North Creek asked for time.
The Falcons stole the ball just inside the half-court line with 10 seconds to go and had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but couldn’t get the ball to drop through the cylinder.
“It was a great finish —the kids fought back, played hard, created some turnovers and were rebounding the ball well,” Coach Kurt Melton said. “That’s what makes high school sports so exciting.”
It was the third game of the week for the Falcons and one might think fatigue and something to do with the slow start and the teams’ inability to complete the comeback, but Melton said that wasn’t the case.
“We’re not going to make that excuse,” he said. “You have to hand it to North Creek. They played good defense and we had some key turnovers late—expounded a lot of energy and that’s tough to play through.”
Glessner led the Falcons with 18 points; 14 came in the second half, which was key to their comeback effort that came up one bucket shy of a W. Carson Noe and Layton Duff finished with nine each.
“When we were down 11 with three minutes to go we told the guys to settle down—that we only needed five possessions and we were back in it,” Glessner said. “Unfortunately we were unable to score at the end—it was a tough way to lose but that’s basketball.”
The Falcons host Inglemoor Friday evening at 8 p.m.