By Ted Waddell
DOWNSVILLE January 2, 2004 It isnt easy to knock off the champs.
And in Monday nights championship game of the 2003 Downsville Holiday Tournament, The Family School Falcons learned that lesson as they got their wings clipped by the Downsville Eagles, who are the three-time defending Section IV Class D champions.
During the 2000-2001 season, Downsville posted a 23-2 record. Then in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, the Eagles registered identical 23-1 records.
Downsville improved its 2003-04 season record to a perfect 8-0 and captured the tournament championship with a 58-36 victory.
The Eagles dominated the first quarter, outscoring The Family School (4-4), 15-7. In the second period, however, the Eagles only outscored the Falcons by a point, 11-10.
In the third quarter, each team put 12 points on the scoreboard.
But in the final eight minutes of play, Downsville outscored The Family School by a 20-7 margin to record the 22-point win.
Leading the Eagles to the triumph were Shane Bussiere, Danny Haynes and Bryan Hoyt. Bussiere scored a team-high 23 points, Haynes netted 13 points and Hoyt added 10.
Miles Farkas paced the Falcons with 23 points and Mike OBrien recorded 10 points.
While neither team went to the free-throw line very often, Downsville made the most of their attempts. The Eagles converted 7-of-8 from the charity stripe, while the Family School missed its only two foul shots.
Bussiere burned up the floor and shattered the glass to be named the tournament MVP. Teammates Haynes and Hoyt were both chosen for the all-tournament team.
Also named to the all-tournament team were Justin Bowers of Roscoe, OBrien and Erik Schror of Hancock.