|Lady Falcons grab KingCo title for second year in a row|
|Written by Don Mann|
|Monday, 20 February 2012 11:49|
The Woodinville girls’ basketball team added a second KingCo championship trophy to its collection on Friday at Juanita High, and they did it the hard way. Down by 10 points to Eastlake early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Falcons pulled off an instant makeover after calling a critical timeout to regroup.
“We needed a timeout there; it was getting away from us,” Falcon coach Scott Bullock said. “In the huddle Ali (Forde) asked me if she could speak and I said ‘absolutely.’ She just kind of looked the team in the eye and said ‘We are NOT going to lose this game. Let’s get it going right now because time is running out.”
And that they did, ratcheting up its interior defense to force a series of turnovers leading to fast break buckets--which got their swagger back.
Sophomore Erin Hamilton, who took two shots all night, knocked down a jumper to make it a two-point game with 4:30 remaining. Then Mackenzie Campbell, another sophomore, sank two free throws to tie it at 43, capping a 10-0 run.
Moments later Campbell stole the ball and went coast-to-coast, finishing with a layup after a mid-air pump fake to Kim Frost on the wing--some schoolyard okey-doke reminiscent of Magic Johnson back in the day--stuff you seldom see in girls’ high school hoops.
The athletic play of the night gave the Lady Falcs a 45-43 lead and they would never look back. Woodinville outscored Eastlake 19-5 in the fourth quarter to win 54-48. Campbell, who played all 32 minutes, led all scorers for the second consecutive playoff game, this time with 19 on 7-of-11 shooting, 5-of-7 from the stripe. She grabbed four offensive rebounds and made three steals. “She also defended their best player the entire second half and held her to a bucket,” Bullock said.
Alexis McLeod scored 12, 10 in the first half to keep Woodinville in it, and came up strong defensively time and again down the stretch. “ ‘Lex was solid on both ends once again,” Bullock said. Frost notched eight points and was a pest to the Wolves all night.
“Kim triggered our comeback with a couple steals and her roadrunner-type breakaways. She never ceases to amaze me with her speed.”
Forde, once again the focal point of the opponent’s defense, scored seven and grabbed only five rebounds, but was a physical presence on both ends--also playing all 32 minutes-- and wore the Wolves out with non-stop hustle and muscle. If there were a stat for diving on the floor for loose 50-50 balls, Forde would’ve been game-high.
“Ali was huge again with her will to win,” Bullock said. “She showed great leadership and determination, picking up her teammates all night.”
And then there was Hamilton, knocking down the only two jumpers she took all night--both for daggers, the second one with a minute left signaling the Eastlake party was over.
“These girls are fun to coach,” Bullock said. “They never say die and kick it into an extra gear when the going gets tough.” The Lady Falcons, now 21-2, play Saturday at Juanita at 6 p.m. in a state regional game against the Monday winner of Emerald Ridge and Olympia, with the victor moving on to the Tacoma Dome to participate in the WIAA’s new eight-team tournament.