Falcon hoopsters fall in season opener

  • Written by Don Mann

Cold shooting was Woodinville’s undoing in its 56-52 opening game loss to Class 2A Cedarcrest at WHS on Wednesday.

The Falcons shot 38 percent from the floor and 18 percent from behind the arc going 4-for-22 from long range.

The Red Wolves from Duvall, led by Zach Taylor’s 21 points and 10 rebounds, knocked down 45 percent of their shots, including 39 percent from three-point land.

Woodinville sophomore Tommy Wick led the Falcons with 15 points. Photo by Don Mann.
“They made their threes and we didn’t,” Falcon coach Jamie Rowe said.

“We had only one kid who played big varsity minutes last year and they returned like everybody from a team that went to state.”

Woodinville senior Robbie Jackson, the lone returning starter, had a career high nine assists — remarkable in that the Falcons only tallied 19 buckets.

Sophomore Tommy Wick led Woodinville with 15 points and junior Quinton Parker added 13 with seven rebounds.

Senior Brett Arrivey and junior John Villasenor, fresh off football season, did not suit up having not attended the required five preseason practices.

“You don’t like to lose but the one positive is that some kids got a chance to play more minutes than they might normally,” Rowe said. The 10th-year coach, coming off back-to-back winning seasons, is still fitting the pieces together to find the right mix with a squad that is undersized and not terribly experienced.

“Robbie and Brett started last year and (Matt) Laitala and (Jake) Miller played a little bit,” Rowe said.

He offered a brief scouting report on some of the parts that make up the whole.

Jackson: “Robbie’s a great athlete, great facilitator who sees the court well. He’s a strong kid whose shot’s a lot better and has a chance to play at the next level.

Arrivey: “He’s the quarterback and does all the little things well.

He’s the one that talks on defense and gets them set up. He understands the game, like a coach on the floor.”

Laitala: “One of our toughest kids. He’ll get in front and take charges, good shooter who gets some tough rebounds.”

Miller: “He’s our four guy (power forward), finesse kid we’d like to see be more physical but he can step out and shoot it; has a real nice stroke.”

Wick: “He’s a sophomore that woulda played some for us as a freshman if freshmen were allowed to play. He’s a player and has a good future for us.”

Junior Jake Miller, who grabbed seven rebounds, gets tied up down low. Photo by Don Mann.
Parker: “Six-four kid who played JV last year but worked hard this summer and will be on the court a lot. He’s going more to the rim now, as opposed to fading away.”

Danny Ayvazov: “He drilled eight threes in a scrimmage this week; he can shoot. He’s our hardest worker — first kid to show up and last to leave, every day.”

Villasenor: “He’s athletic, a good leaper with good hands. Football player who has some catching up to do. He can grab some boards, too, but he has to go earn it.”

Playing in the ultra-competitive KingCo conference, Woodinville will have to earn everything they get.

“There’re no gimmes in this league and we gotta work hard every night,”

Rowe said. “Bothell’s ranked second in state, Skyline’s ranked third, Redmond’s getting some votes, Inglemoor’s gonna be good and Garfield is always good. Every game will be a challenge.”

What does he like most about this group?

“They’re unselfish, they like to share the ball and they like each other. We’re not the most talented group but five guys in a fist can do more damage than five guys playing alone.”

The Falcons host Issaquah Tuesday and Inglemoor Friday in non-league contests before conference play heats up in a hurry on December 13.

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