Falcons barely swat Jackets 43-42 in overtime

Posted by Donald Wilkerson on Jan 19 2004 at 04:00PM PST
In high school basketball some things are unexplainable. Like how can a team ranked 19th in the state (out of approximately 320 teams) be outplayed by an unranked team with an 11-11 season record? Once again the axiom of “On any given day, in high school basketball, anything is possible” has been proven to be true. The Clear Lake Falcons started district play with a thriller against Alvin Tuesday night. After a week off the Falcons had some rust showing as they came out slow against the Yellowjackets . They came out so slow offensively it took them six minutes of the period to score their first basket. In fact, they only scored 2 points in the entire quarter. They were 1 for 7 from the field in the period. The refs did not appear to be so rusty though as they called 5 fouls against the Falcons early before a foul was called on Alvin. Defensively Clear Lake looked solid. Led by Nandi Wijay, the Falcons secret weapon, the Falcons were able to hold the Jackets in check by allowing only 6 points in the first quarter. Nandi seems to have an invisible turbocharger strapped to his back that engages from time to time. He was all over the court usually being at the right place at the right time. What a difference he made in the first half of the ball game!! What a difference he made anytime he was in the ball game! When Nandi goes into turbodrive as he did from the opening tipoff, he is just a blur that mere mortals have trouble coping with. “Wait, how did he get over there? He was just over here a second ago?” Nandi’s 5 steals for the game seemed like 12. He was everywhere. In the second quarter the lead changed hands 3 times before the Falcons bested the Jackets 22-19 at halftime. 2 points first quarter, 20 points second quarter, hmmm. What’s going on here? In the third quarter the lead seesawed back and forth 3 times and the Jackets ended up by 1, 29-28. Solid play from #44, Jason Kinkaid and #21, Casey Jones kept Alvin in the hunt. By this time it is apparent that former Clear Lake coach, now Alvin head coach, Eric Aaron, is doing something mighty right. This should not have been a close game but everyone knew it would be. In the fourth quarter the lead also changed hands three times. With 2:41 remaining, Alvin’s Jason Kincaid fouled out. At 2:07 a steal and a layup by Connor Atchley, who played excellent defensively the entire game, brought the score to 36-35 in Lake’s favor. Two clutch free throws by Turbo (Nandi Wijay) brought it to 38-35 with 1:30 left on the clock. With 10 seconds remaining, Alvin’s Casey Jones hit a 3 from downtown to tie the game. With 6.39 seconds to go, Lake was unable to break the tie and the game went into overtime. In the overtime, neither team scored until Dennis Cerny calmly hit a 3 with 2:08 remaining. Alvin responded by hitting two free throws. 41-40 Lake. Cerny hit the second of two free throws at the 44 second mark and Scott Oswald did likewise at the 14 second mark to make it 43-40 Lake. Several very strategic, very smart timeouts were called along the way by the Alvin coach as you might imagine. On the last play of the game Alvin brought the ball down and scored partly because the Falcons knew they could allow a 2 point shot and they must not foul. With .29 seconds remaining and before the Falcons could inbound the ball, the referee blows the whistle and stops play indicating a time out for Alvin only Alvin didn’t call timeout. After some discussion Clear Lake was allowed to inbound the ball and the clock expired. Two officiating mistakes were made here to pile on top of some others earlier. First, the ref should not have signaled time out. Honest mistake, fortunately no harm done. Second, in high school basketball today, the rules say that if there is .3 seconds or less showing on the clock (once the clock is stopped, legally or otherwise), the period is over because studies have shown it is impossible to get a shot off in .3 seconds or less. In this case, not one, not two, but three officials missed this call. It is mistakes like this coupled with a lethargic timekeeper slow on the trigger that can cheat a team out of a win. Anyway, Lake won in a thrilling contest that went down to the wire. Alvin is going to surprise some folks before district play is over. Let’s hope it won’t be the Falcons when they meet again on February 6. Clear Lake averages 68.8 points per ball game and was held to 43 in this game. Scoring for the Falcons: Cerny 10, Wijay 9, Atchley 8, Greenwood 8, Oswald 3, Abner 3, Mitchell 2. The Falcons were 12 of 32 on 2 point attempts; 1 of 6 on 3’s, but they were 16 of 21 on free throws (37% of the Falcons points were scored at the charity stripe). See why it is important to practice and practice and practice those free throws. imageimage


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