Bothell — The game between Woodinville and Jackson High was all it was expected to be: a hard-fought back and forth contest that wasn't decided until the waning seconds at Bothell High School last night.
On the line in the loser-out Wes-King District matchup was a berth to the state tournament. Unfortunately, the Falcons came up on the short end of a 56-50 score and their season came to an end.
“I’m sad we are not going to Tacoma, but I also couldn’t be prouder of these kids and that’s why this hurts so bad,” Coach Kurt Melton said. “I told them in the locker room this wouldn’t hurt if they weren’t so darn good — in terms of talent and character. It’s hard to say goodbye to a bunch of kids you like being around — so this is a tough night.”
The teams played even ball for the first eight minutes of the contest with the Timberwolves up 12-11 at the end of the opening quarter.
The Falcons edged out front 17-14 to start second quarter action on back-to-back long-range buckets from Cage Schenck and Blake Glessner. Jackson caught fire and reeled off a 14-4 run to take a 28-21 lead at the break.
Carson Noe knocked down a shot from beyond the arc to kick off second-half scoring and close the gap to 28-24 Timberwolves. Woodinville drew even, 32-all on a trey from Glessner three minutes into the third quarter. But Jackson closed out the quarter on a 6-4 run on baskets by Jesse Hoiby to take a 38-36 score into the final eight minutes of action.
The Falcons got the ball to start the fourth quarter but missed-fired on the possession. The Timberwolves connected on their first shot attempt and followed that up with a long-distance basket by Clay Cortright, that ignited a 10-2 run to put Jackson up top by double-digits, 48-38 with just over four minutes left to play.
Woodinville, however, not about to roll over and die, went on a 12-2 run of its own to get right back in it, 50-48 with 2:25 on the game clock.
A bucket from Hoiby made it 52-48 Timberwolves with time winding down.
Glessner got the Falcons within a basket, 52-50 with 90 ticks left on the clock. Jackson pushed the score to 54-50 with 15 seconds to go and then sealed the win on a bucket from Hoiby and Woodinville’s season came to an end.
“It was a hard loss, but we gave it our best shot,” Glessner said. “A lot of people didn’t expect us to get this far — especially beating Mount Si — that was kind of a chip to add in our bag.
It’s been a lot of fun playing with these guys — I’m going to miss them — but they are family for life.”
Glessner is one of three departing seniors. Scheck and James Jessen are the other two.
“All three of these guys gave everything they had every day all season long. I don’t think any of them missed a practice or were even late to a practice,” Melton said. “And not only that, we had two football players (Glessner and Schenck) who have been going every day, six days a week since August. No Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation — no mid-winter break — didn’t get to sleep in on a Saturday and they never complained — always came with a great attitude.
“It was an incredible thing as a coach to see — young people like this work the way they did and commit themselves to something the way they did. It was a special environment to be in.”
Despite being bounced out of tournament play, the team did have a successful season, and as Glessner put it, many didn’t expect the Falcons to make it as far as they did. But Woodinville proved the nay-sayer wrong.
“We had a pretty rough stretch in the season where we lost four games by a total of about four points. A lot of teams would’ve folded — turned it in- saw that it would be too tough to win the conference,” Melton said. “But not this team. The kids came back and played harder and got tighter as a unit and I love them— I absolutely love them."