Woodinville never had a lead until there were two seconds remaining in the contest, after Robbie Jackson knocked down an unlikely 15-foot fadeaway to lift the Falcons over Inglemoor 42-40 at WHS on Friday for its very first win of the season.
“Actually I thought it was short when it left my hand because I was a little off balance,” Jackson said. “But, hey, it went in and I’ll take it. I started slow tonight but got it going a little bit in the second half. We needed this one bad.”
Jackson led all scorers with 13 points and added seven rebounds and four assists. It was no offensive beauty pageant for either team as the rivals combined for 69 missed shots and 31 turnovers.
Yet when Jackson found Danny Ayvazov wide open underneath on an inbounds play, Woodinville closed Inglemoor’s lead to 26-23 as the third quarter expired. “That play was wide open all night and we finally saw it,” Falcon coach Jamie Rowe said. “Cutting it to three heading into the fourth quarter was huge and showed we were hanging around.”
Things heated up in the fourth: Viking Chris Bryant hit a three and Jackson matched it. Bryant nailed another one and so did Jackson to make it 38-33 with 3:15 left. After a defensive stop, Falcon Brett Arrivey scored on a strong drive to the hoop to make it 38-35 at the three-minute mark.
An easy Viking layup off a botched assignment made it a five-point game with 1:30 left but the Falcons didn’t run and hide.
Matt Laitala crashed the offensive boards for a key rebound, got fouled and drained both free throws to make it 40-37 with 1:15 left, and a Viking turnover led to an aggressive Tommy Wick drive to the rack with a minute remaining.
The sophomore got hammered, his shot rattled in and he calmly knocked down his free throw for a three-point play to tie it at 40 with 40 seconds left.
Inglemoor, after calling a timeout, worked it around the perimeter and found the matchup they were looking for: 6-foot-6 sophomore Trey Miller posted up 6-foot senior Laitala but lowered his shoulder on a spin move and Laitala took the charge as the Viking faithful bemoaned the call.
“Huge play by Matt,” Rowe said. “He’s the one kid on this team we can count on to take a charge.”
With 17 seconds left the Falcons took it the other way, leading to Jackson’s heroics.
Woodinville scored buckets on six of its last seven possessions. After managing just 23 points in three quarters the Falcons tallied 19 in the fourth.
“Let’s face it, neither of us played very well,” Rowe later said. “Missed layups, missed free throws, a lotta turnovers on both sides ... But I love the way we hung tough down the stretch. We battled, we competed. Our big guys were diving on the floor. Quinten (Parker) came to the party and showed a lotta heart.”
The 6-5 junior was game-high with 11 rebounds as the Falcons out-boarded the taller Vikings 36-32.
“And in the end we kinda put it on Rob and he delivered.”
It won’t get any easier for Woodinville (1-1, 1-3) as they travel to Garfield on Tuesday and Ballard on Friday.
The Beavers knocked off second-ranked Bothell 61-53 last Friday behind 6-foot-7 guard Seth Berger’s 21 points and 12 rebounds.