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Saturday, Day 3, Game 1 The Falcons rose to the challenge Saturday morning when they took on the Hastings Fighting Bears. The contest was close until midway through the second quarter when the Falcons surged ahead 44-28 at the half on the deadly shooting of Dennis "The Menace" Cerny who led all scorers with 21 points. Connor Atchley (12 points) got in foul trouble quickly and had to sit out most of the half (24 fouls were called in the first half). After the break the Falcons were up by as much as 22 before the Bears pulled to within 10. Gordon Abner's outstanding anticipation allowed him to garner 3 steals and 3 dunks in the game. Nandi Wijay (10 points) appeared to be fine as he streaked around the court in a blur. The Falcons finished with a 69-54 win over a determined Hastings team. Game 2 The Falcons squared off against Klein Forest to determine 5th place and were victorious by outplaying the Klein Forest Golden Eagles. Leading after each quarter by 9 or more, the Falcons maintained the lead and never trailed. The final score was 72-59. Connor Atchley lead his team with 16 points. Dennis Cerny and Nandi Wijay each scored 11, and Chris Mitchell and Aaron Greenwood each contributed 9. Every player scored. The overall 3 point competition was won by Eric Niemchi of Spring Woods High School with 16 3's in the finals. In the championship match between Clear Creek and Kingwood, Creek held in strong during the first half but Kingwood's depth off the bench and outstanding guard play proved too much for the Cougars. Kingwood was up by 14 in the 4th quarter but Creek battled back to pull within 2. The game was not decided until the last few seconds. (Creek's score over Klein Forest in the 3rd round was 64-51; Lake's score over Klein Forest in the 5th round was 72-59). Overall, the Pasadena Texas Invitational Tournament was excellent. The organization, planning, and forethought, facilities, and hospitality and implementation of the tourney were terrific. No major glitches and only very minor complaints (like the need to replace some lights in the scoreboard at Stoney Phillips Field House or making sure that each team provided numbers for the team's roster). Overall, an excellent, well executed tournament with a noticeable number of high caliber teams. I would vote to return to this tournament in a second. (Not that anyone asks me).
Game 1 Friday morning Clear Lake's varsity bested the Laporte Bulldogs by a score of 64-50. Connor Atchley led all scorers with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Dennis Cerny had 9. Remaining scoring was evenly distributed. Turnovers continued to plague the Falcons (18 turnovers). Dan Rieke sustained an injury to his right ankle early in the game and was forced to watch from the sideline on crutches. Just when the Falcons had the tempo of the game where it seemed to feel right, Rieke's removal from the game seemed to interrupt the offensive flow of the game and the Falcons never quite regained it but the aggression of their defense and good solid performance from the reserves led them to victory. Rieke's injury is expected to sideline him for 12 to 14 days. Game 2 The Falcons second game Friday against Alief Taylor at 6 p.m. at the Phillips Field House displayed the skills of two potentially very good basketball teams but not the maturity of the Falcons as the Alief Taylor Lions beat the Falcons in overtime 53-49. The Falcons led at the half by 4 and it was tied at 49 at the end of regulation play. Turnovers(22) and poor free throw shooting (3 of 8) combined with some inexperienced officiating cost the Falcons their first loss. The Lions were 19 of 23 from the free throw line with 6'7" junior Martellus Bennett pouring in 11 of 12 from the charity stripe. The Falcons play Hastings Saturday morning at Pasadena Memorial at 9 a.m. Their second game will be either at 1:30 p.m. or at 3 p.m.
The Clear Lake Falcons outpaced the Pasadena Memorial Mavericks 73-30 by using a well balanced attack which led to early domination of the youthful Mavs. In their first year as a new school, the Mavericks fielded a team consisting entirely of sophomores. Plagued by turnovers and only a 24-12 lead at the half, the Falcons came out more assertively and scored 49 points in the second half . Conner Atchley led all scorers with 11 and Aaron Greenwood contributed 10. Micah Walker had a strong game with 4 rebounds and 9 points in the second half. Dennis Cerny won the 3 point contest after the game with a total of 12 "3's". After 2 regular season games, the Falcons have yet to face a team with any seniors and they are averaging a startling 15.5 turnovers per game. Some basic adjustments will have to be made if they hope to play on the level with some of the better teams in the tournament. The Falcons play LaPorte at 10:30 Friday morning at the beautiful new Pasadena Memorial High School. LaPorte had a come from behind victory over Smiley. The Bulldogs were down by 15 and were dominated by Smiley the entire game but stepped up in the last 2 minutes to squeek by when Smiley ran out of gas.
Four of the five Clear Lake teams prevailed in their first outing of the season at Fort Bend Marshall. Sophomore Dustin Rieke led the JV squad as he put on a clinic which the Marshall players and fans will not soon forget. Rieke went 10 for 12 from the field as he led his team with 30 points. Even Marshall's impressive outside shooting was not enough as the Falcons JV led by 18 at the half and finished with a 78-63 win. The new Fort Bend school fielded a young Buffalo Varsity team comprised of sophomores and juniors who faced up to the Falcons but could not overcome the heigth, speed and depth of the Falcons. The outcome was determined early and the Falcons prevailed 68 to 46. Every Falcon scored and Connor Atchley led the team with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Nandi "Lightning" Wijay had 14. Aaron Greenwood had perhaps the best outing of his high school career with solid performances on both ends of the court from the tipoff. At the half he had scored 1/3 of the team's points and had several key rebounds. He finished with 12 for the night.
Lake dominated all three of the scrimmage games against Lamar, Beaumont Westbrook, and Spring Branch North Brook High Schools in their home scrimmage this Saturday. The Falcons took an early lead and there was never any doubt about the outcome in any of the three games as the Falcons doubled the final scores of each of their three opponents. The communication among the players on the court was the best it has been in many years. Dan Rieke's knee seemed fine as he showed some finesse jumping off either leg. Lake's defense was again tenacious and can best be described as "hustle personified". Should be a very exciting, fun season to watch or to participate in.