Lady Falcons topple unbeaten Inglemoor

  • Written by Don Mann
Girls BB
Viking Chay Fuller, left, and Falcon Erin Hamilton, collide while in pursuit of a loose ball. Staff photo/Don Mann
On paper it didn’t look too promising for Woodinville: on the road at 10-0 Inglemoor, clearly outsized and playing once again without its own top gun.

But the game wasn’t played on paper.

Behind an inspired performance from 5-9 junior Erin Hamilton, the Lady Falcons ran the Lady Vikings out of their own gym, to the tune of a 56-46 victory — and it was a stunner.

In its previous five games Inglemoor had thrashed its opponents by an average of 39 points, but on Friday they were outhustled.

“Our only chance was to play harder than they did and I think we did that,” Woodinville coach Scott Bullock said.

Hamilton, who normally offers ancillary support from the outside, led the team with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocked shots including a perfect 6 of 6 from the free throw line and plenty of blue collar dirty work down low on defense.

“Erin was fabulous,” Bullock said. “She’s put together five or six solid games in a row recently, and I’m really excited to see her game blossom especially of late when we’re playing without Mackenzie (Campbell).”

Playing with more energy and using its superior quicks, the undersized Woodinville got to more 50-50 balls early and took a surprising 32-19 lead into halftime.

They led 40-31after three quarters and then Inglemoor went on a late run to close to 43-40 with 4:30 remaining and stir the home crowd at crunch time.

But Woodinville would not cave in.

Freshman Emily Spencer was fouled on a long range jumper and drained all three free throws — pretty as you please — to push it back to 46-40 with four minutes left.

Then Falcon Seattle Farner picked the pocket of Deja Strother in the backcourt and dashed to the glass for a layup and was fouled. Her three-point play made it 49-40.

At the two-minute mark Midori McElwee knocked down a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down — her only field goal of the night — to maintain an eight point lead and signal the party was over.

When Farner snagged an offensive rebound with a minute left to reset the shot clock, it was.

“Everybody stepped up in some small way today,” Bullock said. “Emily has eight points in seven minutes, Seattle with the big steal and converts, Midori drops a bomb late in the shot clock, Sabin (Keo) with five steals and eight boards was relentless all night and Kim (Frost) did a nice job with her floor game directing the show. Great team effort.”

Woodinville made 13 steals in the contest.

Inglemoor’s Kelly Conroy was game-high with 16 points and sophomore Alex Hagen added 10, though the Lady Vikes shot a woeful 12-of-44 (27 percent) on the night. Strother, the celebrated 6-4 sophomore, was 2 of 7 from the floor for four points — 10 below her average — before fouling out.

Viking coach John Augustavo, normally loquacious win or lose, apparently left the building quickly and was unavailable for comment.

But Hagen may have said it all: “I feel like we went in there thinking we were too good and just underestimated them,” she told the Seattle Times.

Inglemoor is now 10-1, 5-1 in KingCo. Woodinville is 10-2, 4-2.

The rivals meet again in the regular season finale on Feb. 1 at WHS.

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