Falcons MIA during holiday tourneys

Basketball: Short rosters for Raymond, Cardston tournaments

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 06:00 am

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The Foothills Falcons will need to sweeten their pot of players in the future for Christmas basketball tournaments.

Both the boys and girls Senior basketball teams went winless at holiday tourneys, the Sugar Bowl in Raymond and the Lady Cougars Classic in Cardston, respectively.

Some players being away on holidays meant the boys had a tall order in their opening game of the Sugar Bowl against the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams on Dec. 27.

“We ended up losing by 12 to LCI,” said Falcons head coach Amron Gwilliam. “Obviously, we would have liked to have won, but being short-manned, we didn’t do too bad.”

LCI’s biggest strength is its height. The Falcons were missing six-foot-seven post Austin Orr, and forwards Trey Kellogg and Justin Grigor.

“Three of our four guys with any size at all were gone, and LCI is big,” Gwilliam said.

It was up to six-foot-four Noah Wilkie to provide the muscle inside for the Falcons.

“Noah played well but got into foul trouble,” Gwilliam said. “Once that happened, it was really hard to stay with them, but our guys played really hard.”

The Rams are the sixth-ranked 4A team in the province.

They went on to lose in to the Ross Sheppard T’Birds in the Sugar Bowl final.

It didn’t get any easier for the Falcons as they drew the Magrath Zeniths who have earned an honourable mention in the 4A rankings, in their second game on Dec. 28,

“It was kind of a back and forth game, and we had the lead a couple of times,” Gwilliam said. “Magrath was able to take a 15 point lead and we brought it back.”

The Falcons were also missing three additional players due to other commitments for the Zenith tilt.

“We only had six of our regular players so we brought up four JV kids,” Gwilliam said. “We just didn’t have enough depth. We lost by seven which isn’t too bad considering the circumstances.”

The Falcons will see less action this month than the Alberta Legislature.

They have just one game scheduled, Jan. 30, against Calgary’s Winston Churchill Bulldogs. Their JV team is expected to fill in for their game Jan. 7 game against the Strathmore Spartans at the Comp.

They will then take a break for final exams.

Girls ousted

The Falcons Senior girls basketball coach was juggling her line-up due to a shortage of players at the Lady Cougar Classic tourney in Cardston Jan. 4-5.

Foothills lost its opening game to the Centennial Coyotes 63-42 on Jan. 4.

“They are the fourth-ranked team in the province,” coach Lana Gwilliam said. “I thought we played pretty well for the most part, but we were missing some girls. We were only down by four at the half… We just had a couple of minutes where we had some turnovers and they capitalized on it.”

The Falcons were then declawed by the host Cardston Cougars 66-37.

“That was one of the worst games I have seen them (the Falcons) play in my last two years I have coached the girls,” Lana said. “We just stood there, didn’t play. I don’t know what happened.”

Foothills rebounded to turn in a solid effort in a 47-41 loss to the Catholic Central Cougars.

The Falcons were missing key players such as starting point guard Kennedy Burgess and back-up CJ Dales. They were also missing Shannon Jones.

“I had to do some line-up changes and missing our point guards, it makes it tough for the girls,” Lana said.

The Falcons will host the Strathmore Spartans tonight (Jan. 7) at the Comp, 5:30 p.m. in Foothills Athletic Council action.

Foothills will host a three-team round-robin tourney this weekend.

They play the Bishop O’Byrne Bobcats and the St. Francis Browns Friday and Saturday, respectively at 5:30 p.m.


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