Farnborough Phantoms 3’s 79 – Aztecs Falcons 74
(18-18; 35-34 [17-16]; 54-55 [19-21]; 79-74 [25-19])
Paul Howard 33; Iain Rogers 11; Russ Coulson 7; Matt Sawyer/Tim Tostevin/Becky Wellington 6; Dan Sinclair 5
The Falcons scored more points in this game than in any other match in the past 3 years, and still – agonisingly – lost to the Phantoms! The totals by quarter (18; 16; 21; 19) were consistently high and the team made 11 of 16 free throws (at 69%), so they did everything that was required to win in this division. Sadly for them Farnborough were extremely competitive and matched the Aztecs throughout the contest. The biggest lead the home side enjoyed was 8 (at 67-59 just after the start of the final stanza) while the Falcons had held a 7-point lead at 51-44 with 14 minutes left in the game. The Phantoms enjoyed their best run of the game once the Falcons had reached this point, hitting two of their seven 3-point shots and making nine of 12 free-throws in a 23-8 spell. There were still just four points in it with one minute to go, but the Falcons had already seen Becky Wellington and Russ Coulson foul out, and the Farnborough fast break saw them home. Paul Howard scored 33 including one 3-pointer and 6 of 9 foul shots, and this represented his best haul for the Falcons.
Paul Howard’s 33 was a terrific total, and the scoring by the team as a whole was excellent, with seven players netting at least twice. The foul count was a concern, with the Falcons recording 29 to Farnborough’s 20; the Falcons did not have a foul shot in the first half and only went to the charity stripe nine times in the second half while Farnborough enjoyed double that number in the game. Farnborough made seven 3-pointers – the second game in a row the Falcons have given up 21 points from three deep shots by the opposition.
Coach Walker’s assessment:
This was a game we targeted for a win, and to be fair the team did everything they could to secure that ‘W’. To score a record 74 points was a terrific achievement, but the pleasure at achieving that total was offset by not being able to close the game out. This was the fifth time this season the Falcons have lost by fewer than 10 points and if the players maintain this commitment then there will be most certainly be several victories before the season ends in May.
Next Falcons action:
Thursday 23rd January: Training at Wellington College 7.45 – 10.00pm
Tuesday 28th January: Div 3 game HOME against Reading Rockets at 7:30pm
Thursday 30th January: Training at Wellington College 7.45 – 10.00pm
Sunday 2nd February: Div 3 game AWAY against Farnborough Phantoms 2s at 6:20pm
Tuesday 28th January: Div 3 game HOME against Yateley Silverbacks 3s at 7:30pm
Thursday 6th February: Training at Wellington College 7.45 – 10.00pm