Falcons rolling into rivalry tilt
Basketball: Foothills sweeps home games versus Chestermere, Chinook
Wednesday, Dec 20, 2017 06:00 am
A change was as good as a rest for the Foothills Falcons.
After two teams dropped out of its home tournament the Comp senior girls squad re-shuffled for consecutive exhibition victories on home court over the plucky Chinook Coyotes and traditional foe Chestermere Lakers on the hard-court.
“Lethbridge still really wanted to play and Chestermere always wants to play us,” said Falcons coach Vince Hunter. “That’s our zone rival and they’re an amazing team. They push us and make us dig deep and we do the same for them.”
The symbiotic relationship was once again on display on Friday evening.
The Falcons rode their depth to a 61-55 home triumph in overtime.
“I felt like our kids didn’t play great, but what we did do is give it 110 per cent for four quarters,” the coach added. “In overtime I felt our kids were a little more resilient, they just played through it harder.
“Games like that it takes 12 kids to be able to push at 100 per cent for four quarters and an overtime, if you don’t have a deep bench you can’t do that.”
Grade 12 post Teah Simard led the way with a trademark tenacious performance while Brooklynn Baker battled through war wounds in a determined effort.
“It’s a compliment when you call her the workhorse of the team,” Hunter said of Simard. “Our kids see her hit the floor the way she does for loose balls, the way she gets back on defence and you just see everybody step up.”
Everyone got in on the act as the Falcons made it two wins in as many days.
Foothills used its full complement of 12 players to soundly chase the Chinook Coyotes 83-38 on Saturday.
The Falcons pushed the pace, shot the lights out from behind the arc and received strong post play from the likes of Simard, Alli Taylor, Cevanna Carlson and Claire Shirakawa – to name a few.
“To have these two games, and have a Chestermere game as intense as it was, that’s when you really start to get into conditioning and the kids’ work ethic,” the coach said. “The kids’ commitment to each other really shines.”
Foothills, exclusively a tournament team after pulling out of the Foothills Athletic Council last season, has passed virtually every tournament test its faced since claiming gold in opening weekend in Rocky Mountain House.
They will get put to the test again this week in their most anticipated match-up of the season.
The Falcons and Holy Trinity Academy Knight go toe-to-toe for the first of a home-and-home set on Dec. 20 at the Comp at 5:30 p.m. The rematch is the following night at Knights gym (a night that also features the senior boys teams squaring off). The latter is a fundraiser for cancer research.
Hunter stressed the rivalry between the teams is one built on mutual respect and friendship.
“It’s about two great schools and one amazing community fundraising together,” Hunter said. “Scott (HTA coach Scott Royce) and I have a very good relationship and huge respect for each other and we’re really glad we were able to put this together.”