Girls basketball (16-7) beat Westview High School (19-4) 67-48 at home on Feb. 6. Starting the first quarter off with a one-point difference, the Falcons focused on their defensive play by being aggressive throughout the game.
“So far we’ve had a really great, competitive and successful season,” head coach Denise Bennett said. “These girls work hard and play together. I have full confidence in my team.”
Even though Westview started off strong, with a high percentage of points per possession, the Falcons’ successful free throws and key steals ended the first quarter up 19-18, with guard Madison Lombard (12) scoring a last minute three-pointer.
“The score was close, but it was just because [Westview was] hitting some tough shots,” shooting guard Meghan Voss (10) said. “We’ve beaten them before, and we were confident we could do it again.”
Guard Christina Ellis (12) led the team with five steals, allowing the Falcons to pull ahead 35-30 in the second quarter.
“We’ve definitely improved,” guard Ayli Tulberg said. “Our defense [was] a little off at times but we [were] really meshing well together this game.”
Improving their defensive play with a successful full-court press, the Falcons took advantage of Westview’s missed shots and increased their rebounds, ultimately increasing their lead to 49-38.
“We’re in a very tough league, and I think we did well in the first half,” Westview head coach Bob McHeffey said. “In the second half [TPHS’] talent really showed. We have to work on executing better at all times.”
Leading the team in the third quarter, forward Sierra Campisano (11) scored 6 points, but it was Ellis’ steals that led to a deflated Wolverine defense and 5 more points for the Falcons.
“Even though the score seemed close in the beginning of the game, we knew as long as we kept [playing well] and getting steals to frustrate the other team we could get the win,” Voss said.
Leading by 20 points by the middle of the fourth quarter, the Falcons secured their win with constant scoring and a total of 10 steals. Campisano and Tulberg led the team, scoring a total of 13 points and ending the game 67-48. The Falcons had already played Westview two other times this season, and, with this win, the Falcons are undefeated against them.
“I thought we played really well as a team, and considering that they were tied with us for their record in league, it’s a really big win for us,” Voss said.
Bennett predicts that the rest of the season will be a success.
“I expect nothing but competitive games going forward,” Bennett said. “We can’t underestimate anyone that we’re going to be playing. Our goal is just to continue to compete every game the best we can.”
The Falcons are hoping to clinch the league title by improving their defensive play and getting familiar with their opponents’ strategies.
“I’m looking forward to developing our defense for the harder teams that we’re going to play,” Tulberg said. “I’m also excited to see everybody just working as a team and scoring points.”
Ellis said that it is important for the players to continue working together.
“We played great together, and it was a lot of teamwork,” Ellis said. “I feel that we can go far if we keep playing like we are.”
The Falcons hosted Mt. Carmel High School (6-13) on Feb. 11, after the Falconer went to press.