The Flappy Falcon

SV vs Mendo Diesel

LINDA SACAUSKAS PHOTOGRAPHY

LINDA SACAUSKAS PHOTOGRAPHY

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February 11th: Falcons vs Mendo Diesels.  This was the game we’ve been waiting for all year. Mendo had some tough athletes on their team, including some former high school varsity and junior varsity basketball players, and the Falcons had to play with only two subs.  The starting five this week was Dylan at point guard, Alex at shooting guard, Tyson at small forward, Ezra at power forward, and Seth at center The Falcons were missing bench key players, Jose Orozco, Dom Patel and Kody Tollow, but were ready for a battle until the end.

Linda Sacauscas Photography

The game quickly kicked off with 7 straight points by South Valley. The full-court press was working and they got some easy points off of turnovers. The Falcons did a great job with on-ball defense, but couldn’t match that intensity on offense. The Falcons forced too many shots early in their possessions and made terrible pass choices. They had great hustle for boards both on offense and defense, but they weren’t patient enough with their second chances points and were very eager to shoot the ball, missing a lot of close range put-backs. Freddie was forced to take a timeout to try and get his team together and fix their mistakes. After the timeout, the Falcons kept their lead and played good, smooth basketball. The score at the end of the first quarter was South Valley 12 and Mendo Diesels 8.

Linda Sacauskas Photography

The second quarter was just ugly. South Valley made too many offensive mistakes, like not catching the pass, forcing shots, not taking their time on shots. They only made one three point basket for the quarter – only three points for the quarter. It was just a quarter filled with bad decision making. Neither team could make a shot until five minutes into the quarter. Both teams had great defense throughout the whole quarter. Mendo had great hustle on both sides of the ball, but the Falcons were determined to stop them. Mendo Diesels ended up going on a 6-0 run, catching up to the Falcons and the score was tied at 15 at the half.

Linda Sacauskas Photography


South Valley was ready for a fight to keep the lead when they got onto the court to start the third quarter. They had many  chances to get second chance points, but they forced basically every single one of their shots. They passed it around but only around the three point line, rarely giving looks to the post and almost never cutting. With Seth in the paint, it was easy to get boards over Mendo, but he would often get picked, or he would forced a put-back instead of passing it out.  Fortunately, the Falcons defense was on point and stingy limiting the Mendo scoring.  The score was 26-23 at the end of the third quarter. The Falcons should have been up by more. 

Linda Sacauskas Photography

With Mendo not far behind by at end of the third, the Falcons players knew they had to pick up the intensity for the final quarter to keep the lead. However, South Valley came out in the final quarter very sloppy. They made three turnovers in the first minute of the quarter and the turnovers led to easy scores for Mendo.  Just like that the Falcons lead quickly turned to a five point deficit, getting outscored 8-0. The Falcons made one more turnover before they finally scored almost four minutes into the final quarter. It seemed as if the Falcons just gave up; they certainly ran out of gas. They didn’t hustle for rebounds, they didn’t help on defense and let Mendo get easy buckets in the paint. The lack of subs was showing up big time; Mendo just seemed to be fresher.  Every time the Falcons got the ball, they wouldn’t run the play correctly or they’d be too eager to shoot the ball. Freddie was forced to take multiple timeouts because the Falcons players weren’t able to fix their problems themselves. The Falcons were getting frustrated and their confidence in their shot wasn’t as high as it usually was. Mendo Diesel couldn’t get a lot of points up this quarter either. Even though they had the ball most of the quarter and they had amazing hustle on offense and defense, and had great ball movement, they couldn’t seem to make many shots either, but it was enough to win comfortably. The final score was 43-30 Mendo Diesels; the Falcons getting outscored 20-4 in the 4th.  The Falcons’ winning streak was over.  

After the game, Coach Freddie had this to say, “Quite simply, we had an off day shooting, we ran out of energy, but worst of all, we completely lost our poise and togetherness.  I always know a team is in trouble when players are yelling at each other, and today, that was us far too often.  When your leader walks out of the gym without even shaking the opponents’ hands, you have a problem; a pretty big problem.  The game stuff — making shots, executing on offense, etc — we can fix that.  Getting everybody on the same page and not pulling attitude, that is harder.  Hopefully, we learn from this, we learn that we can be beaten if we don’t play the right way, and we come back stronger.  This might be the most important learning game of the season for us, only time will tell.  Give Mendo credit, they played hard and they have some good players, but we feel we are a better team than we showed today; we know we can beat them, but it takes the right mindset. Not having our whole team hurt us, especially as we had no backup ball handlers and people had to play out of position, but the number one reason we lost was our attitude.”

Dylan Burns and Seth Hopkins led the scoring with 8 each, and Tyson chipped in 7. Seth, once again, was in charge of the rebound department, pulling down 16, while Dylan Burns grabbed six.  Nobody had more than two assists.

The next game is against Asian Buffet, hopefully the Falcons will get back on the winning track.

 

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