Northwest NEWS

January 17, 2000


Falcon nest provides welcome rest

WHS basketball

Falcon head coach Steve Johnson talks strategy with his team last week. WHS won their games against Roosevelt and Juanita.
Photo by Russ Paris.

by Russ Paris

   Although the WHS basketball team's recent road tour ended in a loss at Redmond, the Falcons did have two away wins at the Lynden Holiday Tournament, then again on the road against Lake Washington.

   At home last week in their own gym, they added two more wins to improve their record to 8-3 overall and 3-1 in league play.

   The Roughriders from Roosevelt High School were the Falcon's first opponent. WHS won the opening tip-off and rushed down court, where Sterling Brown hit a jump shot to give WHS a 2-0 lead.

   The Teddies then came up court slowly and immediately went into a weave offense, looking for an easy backdoor basket. Their first play demonstrated what they planned to do all night.

   The Falcons traded baskets with the Roughriders in the first period and held a 9-7 edge as the second quarter began. Then the Falcons adjusted into a fast break defense, and with Sterling Brown's basket at the buzzer, held a 20-14 lead at the half.

   "They tried to slow the pace down and take us out of our game," 6'4" senior Dan Howard said. "We adjusted because the coach had us practice against this and we were ready."

   The Falcons came out in the third period and continued to push the ball quickly up court before the Roughriders could set up their defense. This, plus the superior rebounding of Dayne Mickelson and Zach Tuiasosopo, which sometimes gave the Falcons as many as five shots at the basket, created a 10-0 scoring spree for the Birds. At the end of three quarters, they led 34-18.

   The fourth quarter saw Roosevelt give up their weave offense in an attempt to make up their 16-point deficit.

   "They ran a controlled offense. I was real proud of our players' discipline and patience," head coach Steve Johnson said. "It was hard for them to play against a style so opposite of ours. The team showed a lot of poise.

   Both teams played run-and-gun in the fourth period with Josh Stern driving to the basket when he dished to the open man. The Falcons went on to win 57-35. Brown had 16 and Mickelson had 12 in the winning effort. The Falcons made eight of 11 foul shots, compared to the Teddies' seven of 17. WHS had 24 baskets, compared to the Riders' 13. This was the difference in the game.

   In Friday night's game, Juanita came to the Falcon perch. The Birds had a more difficult time shaking the Rebels, leading by just one at the end of the first and just five, 26-21, at the half.

   The Falcons, led by Zach Tuiasosopo's 11 points and Sterling Brown's 21, pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Rebels 31-11 to win 57-32.