Falcons get boost in 2014

Basketball: Foothills girls get first win against 4A school

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 09:48 am

Foothills Falcon Lauren Bailey goes up for a shot against the St. Francis Browns on Jan. 11 at the Composite. The Falcons lost a thriller by two points.
Foothills Falcon Lauren Bailey goes up for a shot against the St. Francis Browns on Jan. 11 at the Composite. The Falcons lost a thriller by two points.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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The Foothills Falcons started 2014 with a bang and picked up an important lesson as they break for final exams.

The Falcons Senior girls basketball team beat their first 4A-sized school of the year when they downed the Bishop O’Byrne Bobcats 72-45 Friday during a three-team round-robin at Foothills Composite High School on the weekend.

However, they learned the next night every second counts in a two-point loss to the St. Francis Browns.

Falcons coach Lana Gwilliam said getting the 4A monkey off their back against the Bobcats was important.

“We want to be a top 4A team and just knowing that Bishop O’Byrne was such a tough team last year, and for our confidence beating a 4A team is important,” Gwilliam said.

Team captain Kennedy Burgess agreed beating BOB was big.

“We were definitely happy about it,” Burgess said. “It reassured us that we are a good team.”

The Falcons came out like they wanted to burn off some pre-exams anxiety as they ran up and down the court and never let the Bobcats get within a whisker.

“We had a lot of different kids who stepped up and played well,” Gwilliam said.

“We were able to get some kids in who haven’t played for three weeks… We came out strong and played hard —just knowing we have to get it done.”

CJ Dales and Shannon Jones were coming off holidays and the flu, respectively, and gave some valuable minutes to the Falcons.

Foothills had to sit Burgess for much of the game as she picked up three early fouls. The point guard said she wasn’t worried as she watched from the bench.

“We have a very deep bench and we can play just about everybody and still keep up the pace,” Burgess said.

Jenna Thomson played much of the game at point. She not only dished the ball off well, but also hit some long-distance bombs from beyond the three-point line to spark Foothills.

The Falcons weren’t able to keep the momentum going as they came out flatter than champagne left open since New Year’s Eve against the Browns on Saturday night.

The Browns jumped out to an 18-point lead in the first half before the Falcons were able to whittle it down to six by halftime.

“I told the girls that defence was what was going to get us back in the game and keep it close,” Gwilliam said. “We came out defensively in the third quarter and jumped all over them.”

The Browns took a 10-point lead in the third quarter. However, the Falcons were able to get the lead down to just two with four seconds left.

“I drew a play up and we were in bonus at the time so I told Kennedy to just basically drive the hoop,” Gwilliam said.

Burgess got a shot off which missed, however Falcon Baylie McCarthy got the rebound. McCarthy’s shot bounced around on the rim like a four-year-old on a trampoline. However, it failed to drop.

“It was heartbreaking and frustrating to lose by two, but I told the girls afterwards every game you have to leave everything on the floor,” Gwilliam said. “Otherwise it’s ‘what if I would have made that free throw?’ or ‘what if I made that layup?’”

Burgess agreed.

“I definitely feel the same way in regards to our execution,” Burgess said, adding the Falcons have to cut down on their turnovers.

The Falcons kicked off the year with a 72-39 victory over the Strathmore Spartans Jan. 8 at Foothills to remain undefeated in the Foothills Athletic Council with a 4-0 record.

The Holy Trinity Academy (HTA) Knights improved to 3-1 by downing the 0-3 Oilfields Drillers 56-30 Jan. 10 in Black Diamond.

The Falcons will hit the books and not the boards this week. They won’t resume Foothills Athletic Council action until Feb. 12 when they travel to Black Diamond to take on the Drillers.

HTA’a next game is Feb. 5 when they take on the Highwood Mustangs.

For more information about the FAC go to www.foothillsathletics.ca


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