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Falcons ousted from OFSAA triple-A basketball tournament

March 4, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Frontenac Falcons left the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations boys AAA basketball tournament in Welland without a victory Tuesday, but neither did they leave with many regrets.

“It was a tough one,” Falcons coach Suche James said after his team was eliminated by a 49-40 defeat at the hands of St. Theresa of Midland.

The tournament’s fifth-seeded team was very physical, James said, “very tough, with a lot of fifth-year kids.”

“They beat us up a little bit more than we could handle but our guys did their best. They  played hard.”

The Kingston Area champion was 0-2 at the 16-team OFSAA event, with the two losses by a combined deficit of 12 points.

Frontenac led 11-10 at the end of the first quarter Tuesday but St. Theresa scored 19 points in the second and took a 29-21 lead into the second half. The Falcons drew within four points by the end of the third quarter, at 37-33, but they could never catch up.

“There were probably a couple of moments where we could have folded the tent, where there was a missed a shot we really could have used,” James said, “(but) they made big plays at big times, got a big rebound at a big time. We couldn’t bring ourselves to get that tie to put us over the top.”

Carter Matheson led all scorers with 26 points, single-handedly accounting for 65 per cent of the Falcons’ offence.

“He played very well,” James said. “We challenged him a bit after yesterday’s game and he responded as any character kid would. He did everything he could to win the game, but we just came up a little short.”

If the OFSAA experience was disappointing, James wasn’t letting on. It couldn’t diminish the progress James saw in his team over the course of the season.

“There was a lot of individual growth, as far as shooting the ball and being able to react to certain situations,” he said, “but also we got tougher as a team. They decided every game they were going to leave everything out there, play as hard as they can, and focus on being a srappy team. That’s what really what pushed us over the top.

“I’m really proud of where we came from. We’ve never had a group of kids that started where they started and ended up where they did. It was such a dramatic change and that’s a testament to their character, their team chemistry. It was a great season in that respect.”

A lot of teams in a sport that demands as much finesse as basketball might not thank you to be described as ‘scrappy’ but the Falcons wore the label proudly.

“This was a pretty neat group that way,” James said. “At the start, there was not a lot of basketball experience but they found different ways to play. They figured out their strengths and they really took advantage of those strengths, and put themselves into positions where those strengths could shine.”

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