Falcons get healthy lesson at Sugar Bowl

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Dive into a sugar bowl and the results are usually something sweet, followed by potential unhealthy results.

However, when the Foothills Falcons dove into the 2017 Sugar Bowl senior high school boys basketball tournament in Raymond on Dec. 26-27 the results were just the opposite — an initial sour taste in their mouths but it might prove beneficial down the road.

The Falcons had two and a view — losing their first two games, which relegated them to spectator status.

Foothills dropped its tournament opener to the host Raymond Comets 94-83 on Boxing Day. They were knocked out of the tournament with an 88-60 loss to the Ross Sheppard T’Birds on Dec. 27.

“We didn’t have a great tournament,” Falcons head coach Amron Gwilliam said. “It shows us we have some more growth to do.

“We have had a good start to the season but it was good for our guys to play some of the top teams in the province to see where we are at to realize that we have some more work to do.”

The Falcons appeared to be on their way to giving the host Comets a rude hello as they jumped out to a 15-plus point lead in the third quarter in both teams’ tournament opener.

Foothills got caught in a Comet shower.

“In the fourth quarter we just hit a perfect storm,” Gwilliam said. “It seemed like everything that could go wrong for us did, and everything that could go right went right for them.

“We couldn’t hit a shot and we had way too many turnovers.

“Every shot they took seemed to go in.”

Some of the Falcons got to experience playing in front of the basketball-crazy fans of Raymond for the first time.

“There was easily more than a 1,000 people watching, an energetic crowd and some of our boys haven’t played in that atmosphere before,” Gwilliam said. “In that fourth quarter, we tightened up and didn’t’ play as well as we should have.”

The Falcons had beaten the Comets in a tournament earlier this year.

Tyson Pitcher and Jaxen Perrett led the Falcons in scoring with 17 points each in the loss to Raymond.

The Falcons then drew the Ross Sheppard T’Birds in the consolation semifinal.

Some consolation.

Ross Sheppard had dropped to the B side by losing to tournament finalist, the LCI Rams.

“Ross Shep is big, athletic and we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Gwilliam said. “We really had an off game, it didn’t look like we were mentally prepared or focused to play.”

The T’Birds had a slim eight-point lead at half, before things fell apart.

Hunter Boriskewich was the top Falcons scorer with 17 points. David Kent-Canalejo added 10.

The Falcons have been practicing through the Christmas break. They will host Calgary’s Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs on Jan. 18.

bcampbell@okotoks.greatwest.ca

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