No. 2 Woodinville slips past Skyline, 51-45 / Prep Girls Basketball
Woodinville, ranked second in the state, squeaked out a 51-45 KingCo 4A Tournament victory over eighth-seeded Skyline.
Special to The Seattle Times
WOODINVILLE — Scott Bullock wants five things from his Woodinville girls basketball team on a nightly basis.
The Falcons' coach calls it the "Falcon Fab Five."
The formula for success boils down to: 1. Take care of the ball. 2. Make free throws and layups. 3. Pressure defense. 4. Rebound hard. 5. Take good shots.
The first two on the list nearly cost the second-ranked Falcons, KingCo's No. 1 seed, before they eked out a 51-45 win over eighth-seeded Skyline Wednesday night in the first round of the KingCo 4A Tournament.
Bullock's team somehow managed despite an off night in many areas.
Fab Five nearly turned to Drab Five.
"We can't make layups, we can't make free throws, but we still win,"
Bullock said after his team overcame a 0-for-8 free-throw stretch in the third quarter and a whopping 26 turnovers. "We just found a way.
"But Skyline, they don't feel like an eight seed. They gave us everything they had. They have a bright future. They're a young team and we're a young team and we should have some good battles with them."
Melissa Gilkey, a 6-foot junior, was the Falcons' steadying influence with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Ali Forde, a 6-1 sophomore, added 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots despite foul trouble and a 2-for-9 night at the foul stripe.
Skyline, led by 12 points each from Kassia Fortier and Michelle Bretl, kept pestering the taller Falcons into mistakes and trailed only 45-43 with 4:12 to play.
Crystal Nybo made a pair of free throws at the 4:08 mark, Forde converted a layin with 2:37 to go and Gilkey added a rebound basket with 22.8 seconds left as Woodinville closed out the game on a 6-2 run.
"They're a good team," said Nybo, a senior who supplied 10 points, six rebounds, two steals and some tough defense. "I feel they hit their shots in pressure moments. They hit some tough shots.
"We always come in thinking every team's a good team and we know we have to battle. I don't think we took anything for granted. We just had some problems."
Woodinville (20-1) faces Newport Saturday in the tourney semifinals at 8:15 p.m. at Juanita. Only the tournament champion is assured of a state berth.
Skyline (10-11) plays Lake Washington Saturday in a loser-out contest.
"It was just like the last time we played them, we really truly did miss an opportunity, because we had them up five [points] with a minute to go," said Skyline coach Greg Bruns, whose team has played KingCo's top teams tough. "Again today, we told the kids to play loose and have fun, because [Woodinville] has everything to lose.
"Our last three games have given us confidence. We lose to Issaquah in overtime, take Woodinville to wire and beat Newport. We come in knowing we can play with anyone in our league."
Woodinville took the only regular-season meeting of the two schools, 54-51, on the road on Feb. 3. The Falcons rallied in the fourth quarter as Amanda Frost nailed a go-ahead three-pointer.
Woodinville has won eight games in a row since a 50-41 loss at Newport on Jan. 20.
Woodinville made just 16 of 29 free throws on Wednesday.