Last Thursday night, Northshore residents may have sensed something in the air. The tectonic plates of the KingCo Conference underwent a major shift. The Woodinville Falcons came of age and knocked off the powerhouse Bothell Cougars 52-48 in the KingCo 4A championship game. In so doing, the Lady Falcons supplanted their rivals as rulers of the conference.
“We’ve worked so many years to get here,” Woodinville forward Alena Coomar said. “So many years we’ve played Bothell and we’ve gotten close but haven’t beaten them. And it feels awesome that our hard work finally paid off.”
Bothell, who entered the game with a conference record of 14-0 and 19-2 overall, was ranked third in the state by The Seattle Times. They were the defending KingCo 4A Champs and led by two senior superstar players, Taya Corosdale and Keyonna Jones (as well as outstanding forward Sydney Cowan).
But the Falcons, with a team loaded with juniors and only one senior, finally went toe-to-toe for 32 minutes with Bothell.
“Obviously there is a lot of exhilaration in beating a really talented, well-coached team with two high level players,” Woodinville coach Scott Bullock said. “There’s nothing sweeter for a group of kids to come together and feel like they beat a team that is maybe a little bit more talented than them because they played as a team. We have a quote that we love to share: `if you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’”
This game was a barnburner from the get-go. With mere seconds left in the first half, Falcon point guard Regan Schenck zipped down court like a missile and fired a pass to Nikki Zaback for the lay-in just before the buzzer sounded. Woodinville went into halftime up 22-19.
“One of our things when we play Bothell, the third quarter is always the toughest for us,” Woodinville’s Madison Lundquist said. “So heading into the third quarter tonight, we were [emphasizing] `Push push push, don’t let up and dig a hole like we’ve done before.’”
Come the third quarter, Schenck nailed a three pointer to give her Falcons a 28-25 lead. Then Kennedy Selway hit a long distance bomb, extending that lead to 35-27.
As the game entered the fourth quarter, the on-court intensity became a bubbling caldron. Bothell’s Keyonna Jones began to take over, hitting a pair of three pointers. Her teammate Sydney Cowan hit a three pointer too. But then Woodinville’s Maddy DuBois immediately answered with one of her own. The Falcons led 45-43 with 3:25 left.
While the final minutes ticked off the clock, the physical battle in the paint between Woodinville’s Alena Coomar and Bothell’s Taya Corosdale reached its zenith. Corosdale, who has historically been a Falcon killer, struggled on this night to get position and make a big impact.
“Defensively it was war, right?” Bullock said. “Kudos to both Alena and Kennedy Selway for defending a girl who is a lot longer and lot taller, and they both did a fantastic job.”
Bothell led 48-47 with 50 seconds left, when Woodinville’s Gabby Whalen scored a basket to put the Falcons back in front 49-48.
The Lady Falcons then secured huge multiple rebounds in the closing seconds, forcing Bothell to foul. Madison Lunquist and Alena Coomar combined to sink three of four free throws, to seal the deal.
“I have no words, the happiness is so unreal,” Lundquist said after emerging from the post game celebration in the locker room. “The energy is so high with everyone. I’m just so happy that our hard work finally paid off. Especially for those in my [junior] class.”
“These games against Bothell are always high pressure, high stakes,” Alena Coomar said. “Everyone is just going for it.”
Woodinville (18-4) will play this week in a regional playoff game. Should they win that contest, they’ll advance to the Tacoma Dome.