By Mark Powers
The season opener for any sport is always a nerve-racking and exciting day. After a long off season of anticipation, it’s a beautiful thing to finally get out on the court and play a real game. The men’s basketball team tipped off their regular season on Saturday morning, heading down to Modesto to take on West High School as a part of The Gary Porter Showcase. The Falcons got out to a fast start and led by 12 at the half. Senior guard Matt Schneider (’18) provided a huge boost for the Falcons’ offense in the third, connecting on a trio of three balls. Schneider had nine of his 12 points in the period and powered the Falcons to a 19 point lead in the third. The Wolfpack threatened to make it a game down the stretch as they cut the lead to just eight early in the fourth. Point guard Andre Albason (’18) was having none of West comeback, however, as he began a scoring flurry in the fourth, hitting mid range jumpers on back-to-back possessions to put the Falcons back up by 12. The Falcons (1-0) held the Wolfpack (2-1) at bay for the rest of the fourth quarter and held on to win 72-62.
FOUR FALCON TAKEAWAYS
THE EMERGENCE OF EVERETT PERROT (’18)
The 6’6 big man led the Falcons in scoring (20) and rebounding (12). Perrot showed off an impressive arsenal of post moves, including half hooks, drop steps, and a couple of dunks. His improvement from last year was obvious, as he showed improved touch around the rim and better footwork on the block. His dominance down low opened up other opportunities for his teammates on offense as well. His development is a great sign going forward for the Falcons.
The Falcons moved the ball on offense quickly and efficiently, racking up 20 assists on 28 field goals. Senior guard Will Warner (’18) led the team with seven assists to go along with his nine points. Albason followed him with four dimes to go with his huge 17 points. The incredible ball movement resulted in the Falcons shooting 56% from the field. That high percentage can be attributed to the good ball movement creating lots of open looks. The unselfish play is something the Falcons will need to continue going forward, but the combination of overall team quickness and good ball movement could be a formidable one for the Falcons.
The Falcons showed amazing mental toughness, bouncing back from a tough loss in their final tune up of the pre-season against Oak Ridge. The Trojans won by 21 in that matchup, holding the Falcons to just nine points in the second half, but the Falcons put that disappointing performance quickly behind them as they jumped on top of West quickly. The Wolfpack made multiple runs in the second half, cutting the lead to single digits on multiple occasions. But each time the Wolfpack drew closer, the Falcons had an answer.
The 1-0 Falcons will head to Loomis on Tuesday to take on the 1-0 Del Oro Eagles. The Eagles are coming off a 10 point win over Lincoln. A big key for the Falcons will be containing Dre Treadwell. The 6’2 forward had 21 points and seven boards in the win over Lincoln. The Falcons will have to crash the glass as well, as the Eagles have five players listed over 6’4, including three players at 6’7 who will dominate the boards if the Falcons don’t box out well.