Falcons fall to Kingwood 55-52

Posted by Donald Wilkerson on Jan 09 2004 at 04:00PM PST
With determination and high hopes the Clear Lake Falcons (17-5) entered the Kingwood Mustang gymnasium Friday night, Jan 9. Clear Lake had something to prove. They needed to once again show that they were ready to play among the best teams in the state. What they showed is that they are not quite ready yet. The 19-3 Kingwood Mustangs also had something to prove. They needed to get back on track after their defeat at the hands of the Clear Creek Wildcats last Tuesday. They are not back on track yet though they did manage to hold on in the final seconds to squeak by with a win. Neither team played as well as they are capable of playing. After watching Kingwood play six times this season prior to this game, I could speculate about how far away Kingwood was from their best game but the real point is the Falcons were a long way from their best effort. Most of the Falcons appeared tight and not at all relaxed early on due perhaps to the anxiety which comes from the knowledge that they were playing the #3 ranked team in the state (at least until next week). The Falcons came out confident, very focused, with good intensity, and outpaced the Mustangs 14 to 9 in the first quarter. Had they replicated the 5 of 9 shooting from the field in the second or third quarter, it would have been a much different game. Instead they shot 1 of 14 from the field in the second quarter. Four of their six points in the 2nd were from free throws. They scored ONE basket! With 1:12 remaining in the first half, Kingwood took the lead 19-18. At the half it was 22-20 in favor of Kingwood. One bright spot of the game was Lake's free throw shooting (10 of 12 for the game). Another bright spot was the turnover rate was lower also (only 10 turnovers in the game). Beyond that all you can say about the first three quarters is they played very hard, not well, just hard. I would like to attribute their weak performance as being caused by a superior Kingwood team but to me that is not the explanation. Among the reasons was frequent poor shot selection due to bad judgment maybe. If the Falcons have learned that their first offensive tendency should be to try to get the ball inside where scoring is more assured, it certainly isn't obvious at times. Yeah, so they were double and triple teaming our big man. It's okay, the big men know what to do. If scoring only ONE basket in the 2nd quarter wasn't enough, they backed it up with 2 of 11 shooting in the 3rd quarter where they scored a resounding FOUR points total. Four minutes into the 3rd, Lake had not scored. Finally, after 5 minutes and 10 seconds had elapsed in the 3rd quarter, Dennis Cerny put in a layup to make the score 27-22 in favor of Kingwood. Notice there were no points scored off free throws in the 3rd. That's because they shot no free throws. Having three referees is suppose to lean toward making the game somewhat better officiated. Having three very junior, inexperienced referees does nothing toward that goal. Using two older referees who appear physically to be more seasoned but are still very junior officials does nothing for the game except maybe cause the crowd to expect more from them. The person who is responsible for scheduling of the officals for a game where two of the top 20 teams in the state go at it deserves some of the blame as well. More experienced senior officials should have been used, Friday night or no Friday night. The officials alone were not the reason that Clear Lake lost. But when you consider how close the final outcome of the game was and you compare that to the number of really atrocious calls made and the number of times the officials had differing calls and the same official always deferred to the other, the outcome of the game could certainly have gone either way. That's too bad. To let poor officiating take away from what could have been a very good basketball game is inexcusable. By the way, the foul count in the second half was Kingwood 3, Lake 8 before it increased to 4 and 12. Lake probably did foul more than Kingwood but not that much more. At the end of the third quarter the score was 35-24. In the fourth quarter the Falcons put on their hard hats and went to work. With the foul count at 4 and 9, the Mustangs were shooting free throws on every foul. The Falcons were 11 of 18 from the field and 4 of 6 on free throws. Halfway into the final quarter, it was 40-34 with Lake drawing closer. At 3:30 remaining in the game, Gordon Abner hit a clutch jumper to bring the score to 44-37. At 2:13 it was 48-40. With less than 2 minutes remaining, a key basket by Dan Rieke made it 48-42. The game got very close in the last 93 seconds. At 48-43 Scott Oswald made it 48-45 with a driving layup. With 50 seconds remaining a steal by Nandi who passed to Scotty led to a foul and Scotty making two key free throws to bring the score to 50-49 with 45 seconds remaining. Not good for the blood pressure! The final 5 points scored by Kingwood were on free throws. The game was not decided until the last 12 seconds. Scoring for the Falcons: Atchley 14, Cerny 13, Rieke 8, Oswald 6, Abner 6, Wijay 3, Walker 2. The Falcons were outrebounded 39 to 21. No description of this game would be complete without mentioning the unsportsmanlike behavior of the Kingwood student fans who have developed a reputation in this region for being among the worst. Not only did they use profanity when they disapproved of a call, they directed vulgar, inexcusable language toward individual Clear Lake players late in the game as the contest drew closer and the intensity of the game rose. Always reluctant to do anything which might reduce the zeal of the student fans and never having been accused of being a prude, I would like to file it under "Boys will be boys" but the conduct I witnessed was insulting and disgraceful and I suggest the Kingwood administration needs a lesson or two in "corraling their kids". The administrators in attendance, presumably to maintain the proper decorum, were a joke. Shame on Kingwood for allowing such behavior at a school function. What we would like to regard as a very classy school is demeaned by such vulgarity.imageimageimage


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