By Rob Potter
DOWNSVILLE December 30, 2005 Its better to grab the lead late in a game than to not hold the advantage at all.
The Family School basketball team did just that in Tuesday nights opening round of the Downsville Holiday Tournament.
The Falcons did not hold the advantage on the scoreboard until three minutes remained in the third quarter of their contest against the host Downsville Eagles. The Family School (6-0) extended its lead to as many as eight points before Downsville (4-3) rallied midway through the fourth period.
In the games final moments, the lead seesawed back and forth.
With just nine seconds remaining, The Family School grabbed a 47-44 lead when Shervin Nassi made 1-of-2 free throws.
Downsville had one last chance to tie the game and send it into overtime. The Eagles almost knotted the score at 47-47, but a 3-point shot by senior forward Brett Reed bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
With 2:50 left, Downsvilles Dusty Haynes made a pair of free throws to give his team a 41-38 lead.
One minute later, the Falcons tied the game at 42-42.
The score was knotted at 44-44 when Nassi passed the ball to Andrew Van Riper under the basket with 33 seconds remaining. Van Riper put the ball up off the glass and it fell through the net to give The Family School a 46-44 lead.
Will Gahan led the Falcons to the win with a game-high 16 points. Van Riper added 14 points and Ben Laufer scored eight points.
I thought our second half defense was excellent, Family School Coach Ted Towsley said. Ben Laufer had his usual great defensive game.
We rallied in the third quarter, outscoring them 16 to 6, added Towsley, referring to the fact that his team turned its 21-15 halftime deficit into a 31-27 advantage entering the final period.
However, Towsley was concerned that the Falcons fouled a lot during the game. Downsville shot 18 free throws, but converted only 10 of them.
The Family School went 7-of-14 at the free-throw line.
We just broke down defensively at the end, Downsville Coach Jeff Baier said. We gave them a couple of open shots under the basket.
Baier also noted that the Falcons defense disrupted his teams offense.
They took us out of our game with their zone defense, he said. We didnt get a chance to make any easy layups.
Three Downsville players scored in double figures. Haynes led the way with 15 points, Lucas Shaw netted 13 points and Reed added 10 points.