Falcons playing with Alberta’s best
Basketball: Foothills finishes sixth in tourney featuring seven ranked 4A teams
Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 06:00 am
The Foothills Falcons proved they belong with Alberta’s top 15 in 4A senior boys province. Now they know what they have to do to be in the higher echelon.
The Falcons finished sixth in an eight-team tournament after losing to the Raymond Comets 89-79 in the Bobcat Bowl Saturday at Bishop O’Byrne High School in Calgary.
“Of the eight teams that were there, seven of them were ranked in the top 15 – including us,” Foothills coach Amron Gwilliam said. “We saw some of the elite of the elite and got to measure ourselves against them.
“We are able to play with them when we play well… if we can sustain that for 40 minutes, we will be right there.”
Foothills had to battle more than the talented 15th ranked Comets in the consolation final — the schedule maker also made it tough on them.
Foothills had played their consolation semifinal, a tough victory over the Jasper Place Rebels Saturday morning, while Raymond had played their semi the night before
“I thought we came out and played well – we were up by 10 points at half-time,” Gwilliam said. “But we didn’t come out with the aggressiveness we needed to in the third quarter and they tied it up in the opening minutes.”
The two teams battled back and forth, but a 10-0 run by the Comets later in the third quarter put the game away.
“We had about a three-hour break between games, I think in the second half we just ran out of gas,” Gwilliam said. “But we can’t have excuses. We just have to make sure if we aren’t fresh we have to play better with our heads, play smarter.”
Tyson Pitcher was the Falcons’ top scorer with 21 points, while Hunter Boriskewich and Josh Derochie poured in 18 points each.
They opened the tournament with an 87-69 loss to Calgary’s Bishop McNally Wolves on Friday night
“McNally’s a big team and has some good size which we had trouble dealing with — we didn’t rebound as well as we should have In the second half,” Gwilliam said.
“But I thought we played pretty well. We had the game tied with just a few minutes left in the third quarter.”
Those last few minutes in the third proved to be a killer.
“They ended it with an 8-0 run and then we just didn’t play particularly well in the third quarter – we didn’t play very well defensively. They are a tough team, them and Churchill are the two best two teams we have met defensively all year, Gwilliam said of the Wolves, the ninth-ranked team in Alberta.
Boriskewich was the top gunner for Foothills with 18.
Foothills then downed a tough the Jasper Place Rebels, who are no. 11 in the province, Saturday morning in the consolation final.
The Falcons passed a tough test in racking up their first win since final exams.
“I thought it was the most complete game that we have played all year,” said Gwilliam of the 89-76 victory over the Rebels. “Our effort was fantastic, we had balanced scoring both inside and outside and were able to beat one of the top 15 teams which is good with us.
“We had contributions among everybody.”
Derochie topped all Falcons with 25, while Pitcher had 20. David Kent-Canalejo contributed with 18.
The Falcons are at the Redhawk Invitational this weekend at Western Canada High School.
They tip-off against the provincially-ranked Winston Churchill Bulldogs Thursday at 11:30 a.m.