FALCONS WIN THREE ON THE BOUNCE!
Yateley Silverbacks 3s 52 – Aztecs Falcons 60
(12-16; 21-37 [9-21]; 37-50 [16-13]; 52-60 [15-10])
AP Owoeye 23; Paul Howard 13; Iain Rogers 9; Alex Braga 7; Becky Wellington 4
The Falcons made it three wins on the bounce with an excellent win at Yateley thanks to another fine team performance with AP Owoeye leading all scorers with 23. Yateley took an early 4-0 lead, but the Falcons tightened up at the back with a change of defensive formation, and three quick breaks by AP gave the visitors a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. The Aztecs third string blew the game away with a stunning second period performance (which they won 9-21) during which they established a 17-point lead at 31-14. This was improved upon in the third period when the gap was increased to 22 points when four different Falcons players scored during a commanding 2-11 spell. The second half was lost 31-23 but the damage was done, and the victory was secure. The Falcons ran some set plays superbly, all of them resulting in easy scores or great looks at the basket. Being patient and making the unselfish cuts is certainly the way to more success. This was the Falcons 5th win of the season and they join Yateley, Woking and Windsor on 5 wins. The other teams still sit above Falcons in Div 3 of the Wessex League on points difference, although Yateley are top of this four-team group as they have played, and lost, one game more. On Form, however, Falcons’ superb 4 wins in 5 games puts them in third place in the division!
Four of the Falcons five wins have come on the back of scoring 60 or more points; in fact the team have only score in excess of 60 and lost – against Farnborough Phantoms 2s (74-79) and Reading Rockets (61-124). 63% from the free-throw line means the team have failed to exceed 50% in just two of their last 10 matches. Alex Braga’s two triples took his total for the season to three; Becky Wellington has only failed to score in one of her 16 games this season while skip Iain Rogers has only managed one bagel in 17 outings. Simon Martin’s outrageous hook shot broke his 4-game non-scoring streak. Alex, AP, Becky and Dan Sinclair (remember him?) have fouled in every game they have played this season. AP leads scorers now with 17.5 points per game – a shade ahead of long-time leader Paul Howard. Alex Braga made his first foul shot for the team while team leaders from the foul line for the Falcons are Mike Church who boasts a perfect 100%, and Becky Wellington who has taken 20 more shots than the Lemmings Coach at 79%.
Coach Walker’s assessment:
The Falcons squad, pretty much unchanged all season, has been given a huge boost recently with the addition of Alex Braga’s young, fast and athletic mate AP Owoeye. He has certainly raised everyone’s expectations and has given the team belief in themselves. Once again this game illustrated the determination of the whole squad. Everyone, when they came onto court, worked incredibly hard on defence, and for the first time in three years had to play to slow the game down to use up valuable time to prevent the opposition from getting the ball. The team averages 69 points against per game in the league so far this season – so keeping the opposition below 60 will give us the chance to win games. Over the season so far the team averages 55ppg. In the past five games that has gone up to 58ppg and the points against in that time has dropped to 54. This is not rocket science. Score, and stop the opposition scoring is the name of the game! The key factor in terms of how the team has performed recently has been the huge drop in the number of errors. Turn-overs have killed the Falcons in the past two and a half years. As players realise that you should NEVER force the ball into places it simply will not go, so the number of turnovers has dropped. At the same time the number of points conceded to opposition fast breaks has dropped, while the pace AP has given the team has seen our ability to run the fast break improve greatly. The next three weeks sees the Falcons take on Woodley Greenflash (who have lost 7 of their 17 games this year and who beat the Falcons by 1 in November), Maidenhead Royals who are third in Div 3 behind Reading Rockets and Wolfpack Mohegans, and at the end of the month Cobras Kai who have won just two games all season – and Falcons play them twice before the season ends. How many wins can the Falcons get before that final encounter with Cobras Kai in May? Keep it simple Falcons. Play D, run the offence and be patient.
Next Falcons action:
Thursday 27th February Training at Wellington College 8.00 – 10.00pm
Tuesday 10th March Div 3 game HOME to Woodley Greenflash at 7.30pm
Thursday 12th March Training at Wellington College 8.00 – 10.00pm
Monday 16th March Div 3 game AWAY to Maidenhead Royals at 8.15pm
Thursday 19th March Training at Wellington College 8.00 – 10.00pm
Tuesday 24th March Div 3 game HOME to Bracknell Cobras Kai at 7.30pm