Griffins trim Falcons in OT thriller
Basketball: Foothills fourth in their tourney, top ranked BOB takes title
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018 06:00 am
It’s hard work to earn overtime.
The Foothills Falcons scored five points in the final minute — including a three-point bomb with 1.8 seconds left — to tie the Ernest Manning Griffins to force overtime in the bronze medal game of the Foothills Falcons senior boys classic Saturday at the Comp.
However, the Griffins were able to pull off a 100-90 victory in the five-minute overtime.
“Down the stretch it really showed the character of our guys,” Falcons head coach Amron Gwilliam said. “We could have easily given up, but they fight and fight and fight, they never quit.”
Foothills was down 86-82 with 32 seconds left in regulation and were able to cut the lead to two on a pair of Hunter Boriskewich free throws. Manning extended the lead to three on a free throw.
Don’t count these Falcons out.
Boriskewich took a feed from David Kent-Canalejo, who was near the Griffins basket, and pumped in a three-pointer from about six-feet beyond the arc to force overtime.
“It was just catch-and-shoot, I didn’t even think of the distance, just about getting the shot off,” Boriskewich said. “My blood was pumping — everyone in the crowd was super-energetic.”
The Falcons were unable to maintain momentum in the overtime.
“I thought we tried to rush it too much,” Boriskewich said of the OT. “We turned it over too many times.”
Manning jumped out to a 92-87 lead in OT, but Foothills cut the lead to 92-90 on a Jaxen Perrett three-pointer with 1:08 remaining. The Falcons had a chance to tie when a hustling Kent-Canalejo saved a ball from going out of bounds. However, his saving pass was just inches from a Falcon. Manning’s Kelechi Nwosu picked up the ball and his soft-touch shot made it 94-90.
Foothills had led by as much as 12 in the opening half, but they faltered in the second-quarter giving up 31 points to the Griffins.
The Falcons gave Manning a huge scare.
“We were playing fine, it was just that Foothills played very, very well,” said Griffins co-coach Ben Rogers. “We took better care of the ball in the second quarter.”
The Griffins had 45-36 lead at the half.
Foothills’ loss put a damper on Falcon guard Tyson Pitcher’s 37-point output in the final.
“It was disappointing that we lost but we wanted to come out and play hard for the fans because it was the last home game,” said Pitcher, who called it the best game of his high school career.
It was the final home game for three-year senior varsity Falcon guard Josh Derochie.
“Sad, but it was super-fun, great to play with these guys,” Derochie said. “We played pretty well, we just missed some shots.”
Pitcher and Derochie first started playing together as minis seven years ago with the Okotoks minor basketball program.
Derochie finished with 14 points, including a pair of threes, in his final game at the Comp.
The Falcons opened the tournament with a 106-55 blowout of 4A South Central zone rival, the Chestermere Lakers on Friday afternoon.
Foothills had all 10 players get on the scoresheet, with Pitcher and Perrett leading the way with 18 points. Also finishing in double digits was Josh Pahl, 10; Logan Richards, 11; Derochie, 15 and Boriskewich, 16.
The Falcons had to settle for the bronze-medal tilt when they lost to the Camrose Trojans 87-82 in the tournament semifinal. Although being from a smaller school, the Trojans went into the tournament as the no. 1 3A school in Alberta.
“I thought the Camrose game was really good for us,” Gwilliam said. “They execute very well. They are patient and have huge guys that we struggled with.”
He said the Falcons had a couple of mental lapses, which cost them the game.
“For the rest of the game we moved the ball well and defended well,” Gwilliam said. “In the end, we just couldn’t stop a couple of guys inside and we had some open looks and couldn’t make them.”
Derochie led the Falcons with 23 points. Perrett finished with 16.
The Bishop O’Byrne Bobcats, the no. 1 4A basketball team in Alberta, won the tournament by downing Camrose 102-71 in the final.