If only Academics Plus could just get over the hump.
Right now, it seems the Falcons’ mode of operation is to lose close games. That happened twice in a 44-36 setback to Sacred Heart last Friday and a 69-63 defeat to Wonderview this past Monday. The Falcons (4-11 1A-5) own a 10-15 overall record. Coach John Harrison said of the 15 losses, three times Academics Plus was beaten handily. The rest were close as in the Falcons’ last two games.
"We are competing well and giving ourselves chances to win," Harrison said. "We just aren’t making the plays at the end."
Against Sacred Heart, Harrison was surprised the Rebels slowed down the pace since they like to press. With under two minutes remaining, Sacred Heart led 39-36, but the Falcons had trouble scoring a basket which plagued them the entire contest.
Before the two close games, Academics Plus traveled to Nemo Vista last Tuesday and lost 62-48. In the first meeting between the two, the Falcons won 51-40. However, Nemo Vista’s big post kid is healthy, and Harrison said this time its size got to the Falcons.
"They went on a 14-0 run to start the fourth quarter," he said. "I told the kids that we have to make big plays in the fourth to win and can’t let down."
Wonderview, one of top teams in the state in Class A, defeated Academics Plus the first time at its place, 71-52. This past Monday, Harrison said the Falcons played one of their best games all year.
"We played well on both ends of the floor and well enough to win," he said. "We broke their press and took care of the ball. With 1:20 left, it was a two-point game. We got good shots but just couldn’t get them to fall. They hit four three throws in a row, and I was out of timeouts."
Senior guard Raylon Lynch led the Falcons with 20 points, and senior forward Paul Sheesley added 14.
When the district tournament starts in two weeks, Harrison knows Academics Plus is the eighth seed. The Falcons still have one more conference game and that was to be last night at home with Mt. Vernon-Enola, but that was rescheduled to today because of the inclement weather on Tuesday. Mt. Vernon-Enola beat the Falcons by six in the first meeting but once again they had chances at the end. On Friday, Academics Plus travels to Oden for a non-conference matchup.