Falcons aiming for the main-stage
Basketball: Foothills loses to host Centennial Coyotes in tourney final
Wednesday, Feb 14, 2018 06:00 am
A touch star-struck for now, but the Foothills Falcons hope to be ready for a bigger stage down the road.
The Falcons lost to the headliner, the host Centennial Coyotes, 74-54 in the finals of the Howler Classic Senior girls basketball tournament Saturday night in Calgary.
"I think our girls get a little shell-shocked in these big games," said Falcons coach Vince Hunter. "I think they sometime question whether they deserve to be there, rather than recognize they earned the right to be there."
The Coyotes, the sixth-ranked 4A team in Alberta, blasted out of the gates like they were strapped to an Acme jetpack — jumping out to a 12-0 lead.
"In the final we strayed a little bit, but once we started to focus on what we did well, we made a little run," Hunter said. "We had a strong second quarter, but came out flat in the third quarter. In the fourth, we regrouped and played hard."
Hunter said the Falcon had a good tournament with all 12 players seeing the floor, he said that will bode well for the future for zones.
Falcon Teah Simard agreed adding it was a whole lot different than when they lost all three games in the St. Mary's tournament the weekend before.
"This weekend, we put that aside and played a strong tournament," Simard said. "In the final we didn’t play our best, but I still think we played fairly well... I think sometimes because we are a smaller school we don't expect to be one of the best in the province.
"When we played Centennial we kind a thought we shouldn't be in this game and had a really slow start... Then we realized we were good enough, can play with them, but by the time we realized that it was a little late in the game."
The Falcons advanced to the final, by clawing back from a 10-point deficit to down the Bishop Grandin Ghosts 73-56 in the semifinal in the semi Friday night.
"We started passing and moving the ball and playing our defence," Simard said. "That led to steals and running our offence better and that's when we started getting the lead."
The Falcons opened the tournament by downing Med Hat's Crescent Heights Vikings 73-49.
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights won the B side of the tournament by downing the Vikes 74-57 Saturday afternoon.
They did it with only seven players.
"The seven girls played a gritty gutsy game with Tiana Miller really putting the team on her back with wonderful point guarding as well as a Kailey Morrison who got 14 points and Rachel Anderson who played most of the game getting 11 points including three threes," said Knights head coach Scott Royce.
The Knights were down to six when a player fouled out with six minutes remaining. And two of the six were banged up — Jordan Bonertz and Emily Ostafichuk.
The injured pair shared duties in the final minutes for the victory.
HTA downed the Chinook Coyotes in the consolation semi 68-65 despite having 25 turnovers. They pulled off the victory when Bonertz canned a three-pointer with 26 seconds left.
Royce said MIller was then able to shut down Chinook's three-point shooter in the dying seconds.
The Knights dropped their opening game of the tourney to host Centennial 75-56 on Thursday.
HTA started the week by beating the Highwood Mustangs 63-37 in High River to keep them perfect at 5-0 in Foothills Athletic Council.
The Knights have a sweetheart of a game against the Oilfields Drillers Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
The Falcons have another tough test when they face the top-ranked team in the province, the Jasper Place Rebels at an Edmonton tournament this weekend.