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Frontenac bows in first-round game at AAA OFSAA basketball

March 4, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Frontenac Falcons were beset by a demon that doesn’t typically haunt them Monday and it cost them victory in the opening game of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AAA basketball tournament in Welland.

The Falcons shot just 50 per cent from the free-throw line, and and just a little bit more success there might have prevented a 41-38 defeat at the hands of Notre Dame, the host school in this three-day, 16-team event.

“We simply weren’t good enough from the foul line to win that game,” Frontenac coach Suche James said, lamenting not only the poor cumulative statistic, but failure at what he called critical moments in the game.

“If we’d hit those foul shots we’re really in a good place.”

It was uncharacteristic for the Falcons who, for instance, clinched the Kingston Area title with a 12-for-16 performance in the fourth quarter of the championship game.

“We played well enough to win,” James said. “You always revisit things, and maybe there were a couple of things here and there, from a coaching standpoint, we could have done (but) the kids played hard.

“Both teams defended quite well. It was an ugly game, a scrappy game, (but) we’re fine with that type of game. We did a good job of controlling tempo and getting it into a game that we like. Both teams played tough. It was a foul shot here or there from going the other way.”

Notre Dame, the tournament’s second seed, led by a point, 10-9 after the first quarter but Frontenac scored just two points in the second quarter and trailed 18-11 at halftime. The Falcons cut the deficit to three points, 26-23, going into the fourth quarter, a period when each team scored 15 points.

Frontenac didn’t get a look for a game-tying shot at the end.

“We weren’t intimidated by playing the No. 2 seed,” James said. “They just hit a couple more shots than we did. I was happy with how our kids performed and hopefully it prepares us well for tomorrow’s game.”

The Falcons will play St. Theresa of Midland, the fifth-seeded team, Tuesday at 1:45. St. Theresa defeated Superior Heights 51-25 in its first-round game.

“They’re a very strong, very athletic team,” James said. “They’re going to be tough to deal with but not any different than what we played today. We feel good. It’s going to be a game that’s going to come down to the same things it came down to today, winning some big moments at the foul line; when we’re wide open at the three point line making some shots, and rebounding.”

Frontenac’s Tristan Halladay led all scorers in the losing effort. His 18 points accounted for almost half of his team’s production.

“He played very well,” James said. “He’s our energy guy. He did a great job causing havoc in the defensive end and offensively he did a good job of getting open and spacing well, getting to places where he can get the ball wide open at the three-point line. He buried some shots today.”

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