For once last week, Academics Plus didn’t have a fourth-quarter meltdown. But, it only lasted for one contest.
The Falcons (10-17, 6-10 A 5-North) defeated Nemo Vista, 60-54, last Tuesday and then lost to Sacred Heart, 81-50, last Thursday. They also suffered a setback in a makeup game last Friday and fell to Little Rock Lisa Academy, 58-45.
"(Nemo Vista) That was a big win," Academics Plus Coach John Harrison said. "They have several big kids that are 6-4 and 6-5, and we came out and played well the whole game. We didn’t have our fourth-quarter slump."
Kyle Coffman paced the Falcons with 21 points and hit 5-of-6 treys. Sophomore Will Redwine added 12 points.
Against defending champion Class A Sacred Heart, Harrison was pleased how Academics Plus played for three and a half quarters. Then the wheels fell off. The Falcons trailed at the half, 31-27, and started the third quarter with a 35-31 lead and trailed by nine at the end of the third period. Sacred Heart finished the game with a 26-5 run.
"I can’t even describe or figure out what we are doing in the fourth quarter," Harrison said. "It’s mind boggling. It’s not our physical conditioning, we just make bad decisions."
In the contest against Lisa Academy, the flu bug hit, and Harrison was missing two key starters. He could tell the leadership on the floor was missing and says the guys just didn’t play well. Harrison is also is starting to see a disturbing trend.
"I’ve never seen so many 16-18-year old athletes missing so many layups," he said. "In our last three games, I estimate and think I am close, we’ve missed 25 layup attempts. Some were slightly contested and some weren’t."
Last night, Academics Plus finished the conference season at Mount Vernon-Enola. The Falcons lost in the first meeting and hoped to eliminate Mount Vernon-Enola’s free throws last night. The first time the two played, Mount Vernon-Enola was 28-of-32 from the charity stripe.
The conference meeting for seeding the district tournament is also this week, and Harrison sees the Falcons anywhere from fifth to seventh depending on what happens with other schools this week. Academics Plus has a non-conference matchup with Pangburn on Friday.
"I hope we get healthy this week," Harrison said. "We’ve had the kids with the flu and some others with a couple of other issues."