Falcons deliver 56-46 victory at Vikings' home court.
KENMORE — Scott Bullock sized up Inglemoor during pregame introductions and shrank a little inside.
“I mean, I’m like 6 foot,” said Bullock, girls basketball coach at Woodinville, “but almost all of them I was looking up to them.”
Woodinville figured the only way to beat the unbeaten Vikings was to outwork them. That mission produced a surprising 56-46 victory Friday night that left Inglemoor a little dazed.
The Vikings, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A, suffered their first loss in 11 games. They referred to the loss to the rival Falcons (10-2) as a wake-up call.
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“I feel like we went in thinking we were too good and just underestimated them,” said Inglemoor wing Alex Hagen.
Woodinville jumped on Inglemoor early on the Vikings’ home court and never let up, building a 32-19 halftime lead. Erin Hamilton, a 5-foot-9 junior, led the Falcons on both sides of the court, producing 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. She had the difficult assignment of defending Inglemoor’s Kelly Conroy, who led her team with 16 points.
“We had to come out there and have a lot of heart,” Hamilton said. “Obviously, we were shorter. We just needed to want it more.”
Inglemoor’s starting lineup included 6-4 sophomore Deja Strother, the 6-2 Hagen and the 5-10 Conroy. Woodinville had to deal with three other Vikings 6 feet or taller.
Although Hagen scored 10 points, Strother was limited to four, 10 points less than her average.
“I’m not happy with how I played,” Strother said. “I did not have a good game. I don’t think anyone did.”
Inglemoor fell behind by as many as 15 points late in the third quarter but then managed to make a run, getting as close as three points with just over 4 minutes remaining.
But clutch free throw shooting, a big backcourt steal by Seattle Farner and a clutch three-pointer by Midori McElwee fended off two runs by the Vikings.
Sabin Keo pitched in six points, seven rebounds and five steals for Woodinville.
“We knew our only chance was to play harder than them and want it more,” Bullock said.
Woodinville was missing its leading scorer, Mackenzie Campbell, who is expected to return from a knee injury next week.
Inglemoor plans to be better prepared the next time the teams meet.
“I just know next time we’re going to come hard,” Strother said, “and get ready for state and be able to go to state and play every single team like it’s our last chance to play.”
“We knew they’re going to bounce back,” Bullock said. “Inglemoor is a good team and they’re well coached. We live in same community as those girls. We know it’s going to be a battle again the next time around.”