By Rob Potter
DOWNSVILLE December 31, 2004 The Family School Falcons got off to a great start in Wednesday nights championship game of the Downsville Holiday Tournament.
After an early 4-4 tie, the Falcons soared to a 13-10 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
But the host Downsville Eagles rallied over the next three periods. The Eagles led by as many as 13 points on their way to a 66-56 victory over the Falcons.
Leading the way for Downsville, which has won the last two Section IV Class D championships, was Shane Bussiere. He scored a game-high 31 points, 18 of which came in the second half.
Bussiere, who was named the tournament MVP in a vote by the coaches of the four participating teams, made 9-of-13 free throws on the evening. By contrast, the Falcons only attempted six foul shots in the game, making two of them.
He also recorded a double-double, pulling down 17 rebounds to go along with the aforementioned 31 points. The 62 senior forward had six assists and four blocked shots.
Downsville (9-1) took the lead for good early in the second quarter. Bussiere scored inside the lane and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but was able to quickly grab the rebound and put the ball back up and through the net. The hoop gave the Eagles a 14-13 lead with 6:48 left before halftime.
Dusty Haynes and John Wall each added nine points for Downsville.
The Family School is a very athletic team, Downsville Coach Jeff Baier said. They came out early and took it to us.
But then Bussiere began to make some shots and set up his teammates for good looks at the basket.
Shane is a horse, Baier said. This is his third year on the varsity team and we have a 51 and 4 record over that time. Tonight he scored a lot of his points inside, but he can also step outside and shoot the 3-pointer.
Leading the Falcons offense were Will Gahan and Joe Kettle, who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Tom Gould and Jesse Penner each netted nine points for The Family School (3-4).
We had a little letdown in the second quarter, Family School Coach Ted Towsley said. They outscored us by eight points in that quarter.
But he was quick to add that the performance by Bussiere and the rest of the Eagles was more of a factor in the final score.
Downsville has a great team and a great coach, Towsley commented. I am not unhappy with the way our team played tonight. Our players didnt quit and kept playing hard throughout the game.
Note: In addition to selecting Bussiere as the tourneys MVP, the coaches voted for an all-tournament team. Those ballots were based on the players performances in Wednesday nights championship and consolation games as well as in Tuesday nights opening round games. (Downsville defeated Roscoe, 77-41, and The Family School beat Hancock, 42-39, in those contests.)
The five players who earned that honor were Downsvilles Haynes and Bryan Hoyt, The Family Schools Kettle and Shannon Lawson and Roscoes Sullivan.