Falcons wake up to beat injured Knights
Basketball: Foothills gets bye to league semifinal
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 06:00 am
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights were the victims of the injury bug and a harsh wake-up call in their loss to their cross-town rivals last week in Senior high school girls basketball action.
The Foothills Composite Falcons downed the Knights 50-31 on Feb. 13 at Holy Trinity Academy (HTA). The victory came one week after undefeated Foothills was shocked 52-49 by the Strathmore Spartans on
“It kind of opened our eyes,” said Falcons guard Jenna Thomson. “We came out thinking we were going to win and under-estimated them. The next practice, we didn’t even see the ball and spent the whole time running.
“We weren’t going to underestimate them (HTA) tonight.”
Thomson led by example pacing the Falcons with 12 points against HTA.
The Falcons finished in first place in the Foothills Athletic Council (FAC) with a 5-1 record as a result of the victory over HTA. The loss dropped the Knights to 3-3 and they finished in third place, behind Foothills and Strathmore.
The Knights came into the game missing their top scorer Kylie Pozniak and Charissa Hielema, who plays tenacious defence and provides more energy than a case of Red Bull.
Regardless of the injuries, the Falcons weren’t about to take the Knights lightly, said Foothills point guard Kennedy Burgess.
“I saw Kylie dressed up (in street clothes) and Charissa was not warming up and I felt badly for them,” Burgess said. “I knew they were two of their best players, but we couldn’t take any of their players lightly.”
The Falcons took a 13-7 lead in the first quarter, thanks in a large part to a three-point shot close to the buzzer by Mariah Hoare.
Foothills extended their lead to 29-14 at halftime. The Knights would hang in there, but wore down near the end as the Falcons won 50-31.
Foothills coach Lana Gwilliam said it was a much stronger effort than her team’s loss to Strathmore the week prior.
“We were flat and overconfident against Strathmore,” Gwilliam said. “We came out tonight much stronger and with a lot more intensity. We also focused hard on defence.”
The coach credited Burgess for distributing the ball which ensured all the Falcons were involved offensively.
Bailey McCarthy had eight points in the victory for Foothills as did post Kallie Turbach. Her sister, Maddie Turbach finished with six points.
Knights coach Ashley Herzog said her team never gave up and played tenacious defence in the loss to Foothills.
“I thought we actually outplayed them in the fourth quarter — we got things kind of collected at halftime,” said Herzog, who added the Knights knew they were going to miss Pozniak’s scoring. “We really concentrated on our defence and I thought we did much better than the first time we played them.”
The Knights were able to hold the Falcons’ Twin Towers, Maddie and Kalli Turbach to a combined 14 points. However, the Turbachs remained a force on defence and the boards.
HTA Knight Anya Farmer said it’s never nice to lose to their cross-town rivals, but she felt they proved they can play with Foothills, especially when their team is healthy. The Knights’ top scorer was Ryan Kennedy who finished with 13 points while Erin Murray finished with six points.
Both Pozniak and Hielema will be back this weekend when the Knights play in Wetaskiwin.
The FAC playoffs start Feb. 27, likely with HTA hosting the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans in the quarterfinal. The other quarterfinal is the Oilfields Drillers traveling to High River to take on the Highwood Mustangs.
The Falcons have a bye to the semifinals, which they will host on March 1. The FAC finals will be played on March 2 at Foothills Composite High School.