The Flappy Falcon

Falcons Take Title! City League Champs, 2018

LINDA SACAUSKAS PHOTOGRAPHY

LINDA SACAUSKAS PHOTOGRAPHY

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This was it, the City League Championship. Falcons against Trinafour, the top two teams in the league. Last time they met was the very first game of the season and the Falcons had barely won by a couple points in the final seconds of the game. The Falcons had gotten here with a spectacular win in their semifinal game, coming back from a 20-4 deficit, including hitting a halftime buzzer beater, to win by 10.  Trinafour got here by winning a hard fought semifinal against Mendo Diesel. The Falcons started with Dylan at point, Tyson at shooting guard, Ezra at small forward, Rosco at power forward and Seth at center. The game was evenly matched with both teams having the same size players and a good amount of subs on the bench. The Falcons were ready for the biggest and most important game of the season and really wanted to reward Freddie with a championship for being such a great coach and teacher, and themselves for all of the hard work they put into the season.

Linda Sacauskas Photography

The Falcons first quarter was very efficient. They dominated on offense and defense basically the entire quarter. The Falcons looked like a real high school team with their amazing teamwork and how put together they were on both sides of the floor. Even though they weren’t making all of their open shots, they were still moving the ball well and putting up good numbers, shooting 7 -12 from the field, including three from behind the arc, courtesy of Dylan who was setting the nets on fire.  The Falcons went with their 1-3-1 zone defense to keep Trinafour out of the lane, and it was working perfectly, holding Trinafour to 3 -12 with only made one three. The Falcons were on top 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started off with a lob pass to Seth for an easy

Linda Sacauskas Photography

uncontested layup, and that itself should explain how the second quarter went for the Falcons. Dom Patel came off the bench and scored six quick points and the Falcons went up by 14 points.  South Valley took their time with their shots, passing the ball and running their sets, unlike Trinafour as they missed way more than half their shots. Trinafour was getting desperate and started to apply pressure with a full-court press and the Falcons cracked a bit, turning the ball over four times in a row. For the quarter, Trinafour shot almost twice as many times as the Falcons did due to the Falcons turnovers, yet both teams made the same number of shots. The Falcons went 5 – 9 from the field including one made triple. Trinafour went 5 – 21 from the field, but also made three free throws. They trimmed the lead, but still were not close to catching up to the Falcons who were committed to keeping the lead from Trinafour. The score at halftime was 28-21.

Linda Sacauskas Photography

At the beginning of the second half, the Falcons huddled up and told each other that they needed to put the lead out of reach for good, and they did. With the help of Seth’s amazing rebounding and putback skills, the Falcons pushed the lead back out to double digits, but Trinafour wasn’t ready to give up yet. It was hard for the Falcons to get open and take uncontested shots because of Trinafours’ great defensive effort, but they did not turn the ball over.  The Falcons were taking time to shoot the ball and running their plays until they would get an easy layup. Trinafour had gotten some good fastbreak layups to keep them in the game still. The Falcons went 5 – 10 from the field, including 2 for 2 from three-point land. Tyson, Seth and Alex also dropped some free throws to add onto the lead. Trinafour only went 3 – 9 from the field, with no made free-throws. The score at the end of three was 45-29, Falcons in command.

Linda Sacauskas Photography

This was it, the final quarter of the City League Championship. The Falcons prepared for any outcome and weren’t willing to let Trinafour comeback. Trinafour tried to full court press against the Falcons, but couldn’t stop Ezra from getting up and making an easy jumper. After the first few minutes of the quarter, both teams struggled to make anymore shots. This was by far the most intense quarter of the game with players on both sides expressing their emotions on the court. Ezra thought he was pushed down by one of the Trinafour players, Logan Sopp, but he was just being boxed out. He pushed Logan to the ground and was kicked out the game for it. The Falcons fourth quarter defense was just amazing to watch. Everything was executed perfectly. They stopped the ball back to back multiple times and didn’t let Trinafour get any second chance points, hustling to secure all the “50-50” balls. Although their offense wasn’t clicking, they shot only 4 – 15, their defense was more than good enough to keep the lead, holding Trinafour to 6 – 15, and finally close the game out. The final score was 54-44 Falcons, the new City League Champs!!!

Dylan led the team in points, scoring 17 with Seth and Tyson right behind him scoring 11 and 13. As always, Seth grabbed 13 boards, leading the team in rebounds and Alex helped with 9 more of his own. Tyson and Alex also passed the ball around a bit with 4 assists each.

Linda Sacauskas Photography

“This was a was a well-played, hard fought basketball game,” said coach Freddie Veres.  “I am really proud of this team, not just for winning, but for the growth we have shown.  All day today we stayed connected, engaged, and kept our poise. This is not the same team that fell apart against Mendo Diesel and started yelling at each other, blaming each other, when things got tough. We kept our poise down 20-4 in the semifinal, and when things got chippy in the championship, including having one of our own ejected, we stayed focused, didn’t lose our cool and came through with the victory.  Our starters set the tone with smart, aggressive, play. Our defense played intelligently and we communicated well. Our bench played great, from Dom’s points to Alex’s rebounds. Everybody made a positive contribution; a total team effort and a perfect way to end the season.”

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