January 21, 2002
Falcons win one, lose one against Northshore rivals
by Russ Paris
Special to the Weekly
The Woodinville Falcons defeated the Bothell Cougars Friday night, Jan. 11, to advance their record to 8-3. Senior center Zach McVey, 6'11", was the Falcon leading scorer in this hard-fought battle that the Birds won by 3 points.
The following Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Falcons (3-1) traveled to Inglemoor (3-1), their other interdistrict rival. The IHS Vikings match up well with the smaller Falcons.
Woodinville, who had started slowly in both halves against Roosevelt, took Coach Steve Johnson's advice against Inglemoor: "You must start fast on the road to take the homecourt advantage and [take] the noise out of the game."
The Birds came out flapping their wings and flew to a 13-10 first quarter lead and hung on to be up 23-22 at halftime.
In the second half the Birds fell into their old pattern of starting slowly coming out of the locker room. The Vikings ran off seven straight unanswered points behind the play of Danny Nwaelele and Dan Taylor.
A long-range 3-pointer got the Falcons going at the 3 minute, 33 second mark of the third period and cut the Viking lead to 29-26. With two minutes left in the quarter, the Birds had the ball and were down by two. Ian Warner, the smallest player for WHS, at 5"8", showcased his vertical leap by going higher than everyone to snatch the rebound, dribbled to the key, looked to pass across the 10-second midcourt line, continued upcourt with a fake to his left, dribbled to his right to the charity line where he launched himself while twisting between players. The ball rimmed out, but it was still an exercise in grace and athletic agility by the Falcon point guard.
The Vikings snuffed the tying effort and went down court where Andy Anderson made his lay-in to secure the Viking lead.
The Vikings never trailed again. Each Falcon effort was put down by Inglemoor's high scoring Nwaelele who seemed to score at will to put down every attempted Falcon rally.
The Vikings increased their lead to 10 points in the fourth quarter, and Johnson called for a time out. He put the Falcons in a zone defense, and the Birds crept back to within four, 50-46. But the Falcon shots would not go down and they finally succumbed to the Vikings, 54-47.
For WHS, Matt Lombard hit two 3-pointers in the second period to keep the Falcons halftime lead intact.
In the second half, the Falcon shooting went cold. Vytas-Dargas Robinson's third quarter performance with eight points was the only offensive weapon for the Falcons who could not match Nwaelele's game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds.
In addition, Inglemoor made 14 of 22 foul shots as compared to six of 11 for Woodinville. The eight points at the charity line was the difference in the game and assured the win for Inglemoor.
Kaleen Morales had outstanding drives to the basket, and his 12 points were second only to Robinson's 14 points for the Falcons. Woodinville's offense appeared out of sync all night due to good defensive play by Inglemoor.
The Falcons, who have lost three straight to the Vikings, look to play their rivals again at home later in the season.