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Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Prep notebook: Granite Falls boys capture breakthrough win

Coach Steven Hume is trying to change the culture of the Granite Falls boys basketball program. The Tigers are a long way from where Hume wants them to be, but last week they took a big step.
After starting the season with 15 consecutive losses, the Granite Falls High School boys basketball team ended its losing streak on Jan. 25 with a 71-64 triumph in its home gym over Cascade Conference rival Lakewood. Senior forward Jackson Phelps (23 points) and freshman guard Riley Larson (16 points) were the top scorers for Granite Falls, which outscored Lakewood 46-29 in the second half.
In addition to being Granite Falls’ first victory of the season, it was the program’s first win in nearly two years. The losing skid ended after 39 consecutive defeats.
“It was nice to finally break that. It was a lot of pressure off them,” said Hume, Granite Falls’ first-year head coach.
It took the Tigers quite awhile to learn Hume’s new offensive and defensive systems, which are more complicated than what the players were used to, Hume said. Now that they’re more comfortable with their coach’s schemes, the players are starting to believe.
“The guys have some confidence,” said Hume, “and they’re in great shape. They run a lot. We have great practices.”
Granite Falls almost ended its losing streak on Dec. 29 but lost in overtime by a point, 59-58, in a non-league game against Lambrick Park, B.C. Several missed shots from close range down the stretch and an ill-timed foul cost the Tigers in that one, Hume said.
Three nights after its breakthrough win versus Lakewood, Granite Falls nearly won again. But after taking a one-point lead over Coupeville into the fourth quarter, the Tigers made a flurry of mistakes in the final few minutes and lost 50-44 in the Wolves’ gym. Still, it was a huge improvement compared to Granite Falls’ first game against Coupeville this season, when the Tigers lost 44-26.
Going into this week, Granite Falls had three league games remaining and a remote chance at earning a spot in the Class 2A district tournament play-in game. But realistically the Tigers are building for the future.
With a long-awaited win under their belts and what Hume called a strong group of juniors, Granite Falls seems to be headed in the right direction.
Newman is best clutch player, according to Herald readers
In a recent online poll, Herald readers said South Whidbey High senior Riley Newman is the area’s best clutch high school basketball player. Newman was the overwhelming winner, receiving more than 43 percent of the votes. See complete results at
Volleyball state tournaments moving back to west side
After four straight years in Kennewick, the 4A, 3A and 2A state volleyball tournaments are coming back to Western Washington. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association decided last week that in 2011 the 4A and 3A tournaments will be at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey and the 2A tournament will be at The Evergreen State College in Olympia.
Mike Cane: Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at and follow Cane on Twitter at MikeCaneHerald.

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Story tags » Granite Falls High SchoolSouth Whidbey High SchoolHigh School BasketballHigh School Volleyball

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