Abby boys open 2020-21 season 0-2
The Abbotsford Falcons boys basketball team proved they have potential, but that they’re still a work in progress after opening the season with losses at home to Athens and Auburndale to start their 2020-21 campaign at 0-2.
The Falcons began their season with a tough draw, facing a deep and balanced Auburndale squad last week. Auburndale (1-0) has undergone a name change, and are now the Eagles, and in the battle between birds of prey, it was the visitors that emerged victorious.
The Eagles finished with four players in double digits, with Hunter Wright leading all players with a game high 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Auburndale was the steadier of the two teams in the early minutes of the first half. Abbotsford on the other hand, despite several good looks early on, struggled to get shots to fall, and was soon in a 11-4 hole.
Abbotsford’s quickness shut down driving lanes, and held the Eagles to just 20 points in the first ten minutes of the game, but the Eagles made it tough for the Falcons to find pay-dirt in the paint.
Before long, the Falcons were down double digits, trailing 26-10 with five minutes left in the first frame. Abby had five different players score in the first half, but none scored more than four points, and senior guard Hunter Soyk was the lone Falcon to connect from three.
The Eagles had a comfortable 36-19 lead at halftime, but after settling for mid-range jumpers and threes, the Falcons went on the attack in the second half, with Faber leading the way.
After being held to just four points in the first half, Faber heated up, scoring 14 points in the last stanza, including his signature move, a thunderous dunk that got the bench off their feet.
The Falcons’ aggression also led to several free throws, and Abby shot 80 percent from the line, but outside of these bright spots, the Eagles continued to fill the nets, out-scoring the Falcons 33-21 to hand Abbotsford its first loss of the year.
Faber led the Falcons with 16 points. Sophomore Brandon Diedrich had a solid night, scoring seven points. Mason Carpenter, Brandon Hawkey and Esteban Gomez all scored four points. Soyk added three points and Adam Diedrich recorded two points.
Abbotsford is still in search of their first victory of the 2020-21 campaign, and for much of the first half of their home game with the Athens Bluejays, the Falcons were in the hunt for the W.
A cold shooting performance in the second half derailed Abbotsford as the Falcons struggled to keep its offense flowing for the second straight game.
The ‘Jays were also in search of their first win after dropping their season opener with Newman Catholic, but whatever rust was on their game was quickly busted off as Cooper Diedrich, Dayne Diethelm and Aiden Janke proved too much for Abby to handle.
Diedrich led all players with 18 points, and his 13 points in the first half set the tone. Athens connected several times from three, and that opened things up inside, allowing Diedrich and Janke to penetrate the lane for points or free throws.
Abby was neck and neck with their rivals for much of the first half, and five players scored eight or more points on the night. Hunter Soyk provided the spark in the first half, finding a rhythm from beyond three, scoring nine points from Down Town.
Cade Faber scored eight points, and Mason Carpenter and Brandon Diedrich provided valuable offense. After one half the Falcons were only down 39-31.
Unfortunately, Abby’s offense sputtered in the second half, and Athens never lost a step. The ‘Jays continued to connect from three, converted free throws and scored 26 points in the latter half.
Meanwhile, turnovers and misses crept into Abby’s game, and outside of Brandon Hawkey, no Falcon scored more than four points in the last stanza as Abby was held to 18 second half points.
Faber led Abby with 12 points. Soyk finished with nine points. Hawkey scored seven points in the second half to also finish with nine points.
Carpenter scored down low and at the line, but he had just one basket in the second half and also finished with nine points. Brandon Diedrich drained two treys as he scored eight points. Uriel Ochoa chipped in with two points