Falcons sweep Chequamegon
The Abbotsford Falcons girls basketball team made it a clean sweep when they defeated the Chequamegon Screaming Eagles from Park Falls in a heartpounding back and forth Marawood North Conference match-up on Monday that was decided by just one point.
Abby watched as the Screaming Eagles missed an open look in the waning seconds of the second half, and with that miss, the Falcons won 42-41 to win both their home and away meetings with Chequamegon this season.
The victory came on the heels of a loss to the Edgar Wildcats just three days before, and Falcons head coach Ally Meserole couldn’t be happier with the way her players responded after that loss - and how well her players came together as a team.
“The girls are finding their places on the team and learning how to work together,” Meserole said. “Teamwork and drive are definitely the reasons for our wins against Chequamegon.”
The Falcons had defeated the Screaming Eagles just a week before, and knowing how they liked to play, Meserole came up with a game plan that featured a swarming and energetic defense.
“Both games against Chequamegon we ran a full-court press for the entire game,” Meserole said. “The girls, although tired at times, never stopped hustling.”
That refusal to wilt won’t show up on the stat sheet, but it’s something that the Falcons have developed all season long. Their record doesn’t reflect their growth, but for one night, the Screaming Eagles saw the potential that the Falcons could bring to the court next season.
That fighting spirit was needed in the opening minutes of the game as the Screaming Eagles fed the ball to star player, senior guard Shea Mineau, time and time again.
Mineau converted on first shots to give the visitors an 8-2 lead with twelve minutes to play. Mineau did everything in her power to make it a close game, scoring all but one of the Screaming Eagles’ first half field goals, finishing with 14 of their 19 points.
But Abby stayed calm and stayed the course, using a multi-pronged attack on offense to take a lead that they would not give back.
Catie Clement sank a pair of threes for six points, Jayden Faltiesek added another triple and scored five first half points and Mya Ruesch tallied six points in the first half, and Abby went into halftime with a 21-19 lead.
Mineau would continue to be a problem for the Falcons heading into the second half, scoring eight points, but the Falcons extended their lead to 28-23 with 13:17 in the second half.
Clement splashed another three, and after Ruesch’s first half heroics, it was Bridgette Pogodzinski who came to the fore, scoring eight of her team high 12 points in the final half.
Abby went on to take a 42-34 lead through the final five minutes, but the Screaming Eagles went on the attack, and pulled to within one with just seconds on the clock.
With their offense struggling, the Falcons went back to work on defense, and held the Screaming Eagles scoreless to prevail as they improved to 3-11 on the year.
It was also their second conference win of the season, and with it the Falcons are now 2-8 in the Marawood North, occupying fourth place.
Also scoring for Abby was Clement and Falteisek with nine points apiece, Ruesch with six points, Alea Graff with four points and Shanna Kalepp with two points.
When asked to explain the secret to Abby’s recent success, Meserole said it was