MATch report – Falcons vs Woking Blackhawk Thunder B

Falcons win back-to-back games!

Aztecs Falcons 60 – Woking Blackhawk Thunder B 50

(8-14; 23-28 [15-14]; 42-35 [19-11]; 60-50 [18-11])

Leading scorers:                        

Paul Howard 25; AP Owoeye 18; Becky Wellington 10; Dan Warren 3

Match summary:                       

The Falcons enjoyed a fine win on Tuesday when they finally overcame Woking Blackhawk Thunder B for the first time in four meetings this season. Woking had won a pre-season friendly by 15, by 7 in the cup and by 28 in the Div 3 encounter at Woking in October. After leading 6-2 the Falcons allowed Woking to get back into the game as they conceded 9 unanswered points, but a solid second period saw the deficit held to 5 points at half time. Woking started the second half the better and stretched their lead to 8 at 26-34, but the Falcons then played some excellent basketball at both ends of the court, scoring 11 and conceding just 1 as they took the lead for the first time since the opening minute. An 8-2 spell at the end of the third and start of the fourth period gave the Falcons breathing space when they took their lead to 7 points, and the game was closed out as the Falcons went 9-1 in 3 minutes to lead 60-46 with 2 minutes left in the game. This was the second game running when the whole squad contributed in a really positive way when they came onto the court. Drew Miller, in an unaccustomed starting role, played hard defence and competed for rebounds like his life depended on it. Adam Birch, stand-in skipper in the absence of Iain Rogers, looked after the ball well save for an attempted long ball that was never on. Dan Warren proved his versatility by filling a number of roles and Russ Coulson, easing back into the action following a groin injury, was a safe as ever. Alex Braga is benefitting from getting more court time as his confidence levels are sky-high, and with Tim Tostevin (scoring points for the tenth time in 13 games this season) and Tony Upfold (making his first appearance since October 25th) providing experience and commitment, the team was not let down at any stage of the game. The main firepower was provided by Paul Howard, AP Owoeye and Becky Wellington who combined for 53 of the 60 points, but it takes all 5 on court to play defence, and the offence was as good as it has been all year.

Key stats:                                        

The Falcons won back-to-back matches in Wessex Div 3 for the first time when the downed the Blackhawks; it was their biggest winning margin of the year and the 5th time they have reached 60 points this season. Paul Howard hit five triples (his best in a single game this year) and 100% from the free-throw line in his 25; he averages 17 points per game this season. Becky Wellington had her best game for the Falcons, stepping into the massive gap left by absent skipper Iain Rogers she was immense on defence and contributed 10 points including her second 3-pointer in two games and her fourth of the season. New recruit AP Owoeye gave the whole team a boost – his energy and enthusiasm bubbling are infectious, and he has clearly taken on board the advice has was given last week as his 18 points included 8 of 10 free-throws. In their best spell of the game the Falcons went from 26-34 down (at which point Coach Walker called a well-timed time-out) to lead 60-46. In this time they made 34 to Woking’s 12. The 34 Aztec points included 3 triples and 7 of 10 free-throws. The 14-point lead the Aztecs enjoyed towards the end of the game signalled a 22-point turnaround for the team, and hopefully this determination will be continued in the remaining games this season starting next Monday at Yateley.

Coach Walker’s assessment:                              

Two wins in two games, and three wins in four, with that solitary loss being by just 3 points to the Cobras Venom. I hope the team are beginning to realise that tough defence for 40 minutes and patient offence will continue to win games. It was a huge relief to win this game after it looked a little bleak at the start of the second half, but the whole team contributed, and they should all take a lot of confidence from this fine win.

Next Falcons action:                                                

Thursday 27th February                  Training at Wellington College 8.00 – 10.00pm

Monday 2nd March                           Div 3 game AWAY to Yateley Silverbacks 3s at 8.20pm

Thursday 27th February                  Training at Wellington College 8.00 – 10.00pm

Tuesday 10th March                          Div 3 game HOME to Woodley Greenflash at 7.30pm

Mike Stand

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