By Rob Potter
HANCOCK Defense was the key in Friday nights non-league basketball game between the visiting Fallsburg Lady Comets and host Family School Lady Falcons.
Specifically, it was The Family Schools defense that made the difference in the contest.
The Lady Falcons stifling full-court press caused numerous Fallsburg turnovers in the first quarter of play. And more often than not, The Family School (7-2) converted those miscues into points.
Following an early 2-2 tie, the Lady Falcons outscored Fallsburg (2-7) 15-0 in the final five minutes of the opening period. That scoring run began with 4:45 on the clock when The Family Schools Mary Sherrin scored a basket to break that 2-2 tie. Just 23 seconds later, Patty Irish swished a three-point shot for the Lady Falcons. Joanna Heretick made a steal and took the ball to the hoop for a layup 15 seconds later to give The Family School a 9-2 lead.
Heretick stole the ball from a Lady Comet more than a minute later and converted a layup. Forty seconds later, Heretick made a three-pointer to push the Lady Falcons lead to 17-2.
In the second quarter, The Family School picked up where it left off in the opening period. Heretick drilled a three-point shot 12 seconds into the quarter and recorded another layup off of a steal later in the period. Sherrin added a steal and layup in the final minute to give the Lady Falcons a commanding 28-8 lead at halftime.
The scoring was almost even in the second half Fallsburg put 17 points on the scoreboard and The Family School netted 15 but the Lady Comets could not overcome their early deficit.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers, I dont need to say anything more, replied Fallsburg Coach Les Hyde when asked about the difference in the contest. Being down so much early, really hurt us.
Leading The Family School to the win were Heretick, who made a trio of three-point shots and finished the evening with a game-high 19 points, and Jenn Cole, who netted 10 points.
Jen Orlowsky paced Fallsburg with 12 points and Shannon Weigand added eight points.
The press worked well for us, Family School Coach Carlton Williams said. We were able to force some turnovers and score some points off of them.
Williams also noted that the way the game unfolded allowed him to substitute more, especially in the second half.
It was good because some of the girls who dont get a lot of playing time had the chance to go in, he said.
This is the third time this season that the Lady Falcons have defeated the Lady Comets. At the Roscoe tournament in early December, Family beat Fallsburg by a final score of 33-27. Then later that month, the Lady Falcons won a non-league game on the Lady Comets home court. The final score in that contest was 41-31.
Williams noted that his team has now won more games that it did during the entire 2002-2003 season.
There has definitely been an improvement, he said. Hopefully, we can keep playing well and make it into sectionals.
Williams pointed out that no Family School girls basketball team has ever qualified for the Section IX tournament.