January 10, 2000
Dan Howard shoots for the Falcons.
by Russ Paris
Woodinville High School basketball team entered its game last Friday night against Redmond as a team on a roll with a four-game win streak and a 6-win, 2-loss record.
The Falcons finished 1999 winning the Holiday Tournament by defeating top-10-ranked Foss of Tacoma and the host team, Lynden, in double overtime.
The momentum from these wins carried over into the millennium's first league game Tuesday, Jan. 4. The Falcons, led by Sterling Brown's 24 points, demolished Lake Washington, 73-46. The game was billed as a toss-up featuring two of Kingco's most explosive players, Brown and Lake Washington's Brian Morrison. But Brown outplayed Morrison on both ends of the court, leading all scorers as the Falcons jumped to a 50-34 lead at the end of three quarters.
The defensive effort from the Falcons, and particularly Bijan Ghassemieh, held the high-powered Morrison to just four points through three quarters. The final period looked like a track meet, as both teams raced up and down the court with the Falcons outscoring their opponent, 23-12, and rolling to a 27-point win.
The Falcons were flying high as they entered their Friday night game against the Redmond Mustangs. WHS took a 6-4 lead, but then the Mustangs used their big men, 6'4" Michael Brandt and 6'11" Andy Sisco, to pound the boards and grab control of rebounds at both ends to take a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Redmond's string of eight straight points put the Falcons down 15-9 early in the second period. WHS used a time out to switch their method of attack. The change had Brown handling the ball at the head of the key, then driving to the hoop. It worked, and as he penetrated, he drew other Redmond defenders trying to stop him. Brown's ball-handling ability allowed him to dish off to Dan Howard, Zach Tuiasosopo, and Dayne Mickelson, leading to a rally that tied the score at 25 at the half.
To start the third period, Redmond went to their wide, big-bodied strength and countered with a zone defense. The switch stymied the Falcon offensive attack reducing them to taking jump shots from the outside. This, plus cold shooting, left them behind 39-29 at the end of three. Redmond's zone defense slowed the scoring down and time expired on the Falcons who were outmuscled in the second half 29-14.
Brown with 15 points and Felix Neuberger with eight were high for the Falcons. The Mustangs' Brandt and Sisco each had 15.