Abby girls take down Bulldogs at home
The Abbotsford girls basketball team picked up their first win of the 2019-20 season on Tuesday, knocking off the Granton Bulldogs from the Eastern Cloverbelt Conference in a non-conference home game 43-39.
The victory not only moves the Falcons season record to .500 at 1-1, it also marks the first victory for first year head coach Ally Meserole. Meserole was happy to have her first win, but was more happy for her young team.
“It feels really good,” Meserole said after the game. “The girls have been working really hard, and it will give them some confidence going into our game on Friday.”
The final score indicates that it was a close game, but in the first half, it was anything but close as the Falcons jumped out to an early lead, pushing the pace with their speed to go up 13-2.
Abby built up its lead even higher in the first half, snapping off an 11-0 run courtesy of three triples from senior Maggie Seefluth. Catie Clement hit a three and sophomore Alea Graff scored three times and soon the Falcons held a 24-4 advantage.
But from there, the game began to slow down and the Bulldogs began to chip into Abby’s lead, Granton also chased the Falcons off the perimeter.
“Our lead mostly came because we came out very fast and very strong,” Meserole said. “The girls had a lot of energy, they were pushing the ball up the floor and Maggie Seefluth had a lot of open three pointers.
“I think they ended up slowing down, got a little confidence with their lead, and Granton started to figure out to come out on the three point line . . . and once they took that away from us we had to really readjust.”
Granton was also able to use their height inside to pull down rebounds and force contested shots in the paint. The Bulldogs also found some life on offense, and ended the first half on a 9-0 run to make it 24-13 after one half of play.
The Falcons came out firing in the early minutes of the second half, and once again built up a large lead. Clement drained a pair of triples and junior Mya Ruesch hit a pair of buckets and soon the Falcons were up 41-26 with 9:30 remaining in regulation.
But from there the Falcons could not buy a basket, scoring just once in the fnal nine minutes of the second half as Granton held Abby to 15 second half points.
The Bulldogs found their range from three, hitting three triples in the second half and slowly began to chip at the lead, but their early 20 point deficit proved too much to overcome, and Abby held on for their gritty first victory of the season.
After breathing a collective sigh of relief, the Falcons will look to polish their game with the lessons learned from Tuesday’s game.
“They learned a couple things, the big one is they learned how it feels to push the floor and get a lot of quick points and that’s something we want as a coaching staff is for them to push the floor on a regular basis,” Meserole said. “They also learned rebounds can make or break you, and Granton was definitely rebounding way better than us.”
The Falcons also learned they have some scoring threats this season, with two players finishing in double digits.
Seefluth scored a team high 14 points and Clement had a season high 13 points. Graff added eight points and Ruesch finished with six points. Vanessa Maganda rounded things out with two points.