REDMOND—The 4-4 Falcons had their work cut out as they hit the road to take on the 6-1 Mustangs in Redmond Friday night, Dec. 17. But the team was up to the task and came away with what many may have thought was in improbable 49-44 victory over the top dog in the KingCo Crown Conference.
“We approached this like it was a statement game,” Coach Kurt Melton said. “We have a lot of respect for Redmond and knew we were coming in as the underdog. After losing to them by a point at home in December, our kids came out and wanted to take one from them on their home court and we were able to do that and it feels pretty good.”
It was a low scoring first half that had Woodinville up 19-14 at the break after both teams went scoreless over a four-minute period in the second quarter.
“We were scoring early in the game, but stopped moving the ball,” Melton said. “During that four-minute stretch we were holding the ball and waiting until the end of the shot clock and that resulted in some pretty bad shots.”
During intermission, senior guard Cage Schenck said Melton encouraged the team to get in tempo offensively and to stop waiting until time was expiring on the shot clock.
“Coach told us we needed to get in a rhythm and get it going,” Schenck said. “We hadn’t played in like eight days because of the snow, but once we found our rhythm we were clicking.”
Schenck played a major role in helping the team shake off its offensive woes draining four shots from long range to push the score to 37-28 Woodinville heading into the final eight minutes.
The Falcons stretched their lead to 43-31 midway through the fourth quarter on a steal and a bucket by Schenck and looked to be in control of the contest, but the Mustangs kicked up their heels and made a game of it down 45-42 with 2:30 left on the clock.
Woodinville kept its cool and got a key bucket from Will Ruff to make it 47-42 with under a minute to go. Redmond closed the gap to 47-44 with 37 ticks left on the game clock.
The Mustangs pressed on the inbounds pass, but with time slipping away was forced foul. Ruff stepped up the charity stripe for a one-and-one opportunity and calmly sank both free throws to give Woodinville a little breathing room, 49-44 with 28 seconds to go.
Redmond then missed three consecutive shots and that was the ball game.
“It was a big win for us,” Schenck said. “It couldn’t have happened at a better time—late in the season and we needed a win like that. Redmond was hot-has only lost two games so this is a big confidence builder for us.”
Schenck finished with a game-high 20 points. Blake Glessner who typically hits for double-figures had an off night with 9 points but turned in a huge defensive effort on Redmond’s top scorer.
“Oh my gosh! Blake had the toughest assignment,” Melton said. “He had to keep fighting through screens all game and was still able to keep their best player in check. We challenged him with that and he bit and turned in a stellar effort.”
The Falcons now embark on what Melton calls their NBA schedule, playing five games over the next seven days including a makeup game with Eastlake at home Jan. 27.
Woodinville took on Skyline on the Falcons court Tuesday, but the game was played after the paper went to press. The team entertains Bothell Friday night. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.