Abby earning courtside education
The 2019-20 Abbotsford Falcons girls basketball season can best described as a bumpy ride. The Falcons are young, and like all things young, there have been growing pains and lessons to be learned.
The education at the school of “Hard Knocks” continued for Abby with losses against Owen-Withee, Marathon and Phillips.
The Falcons were on the road against the Owen-Withee Blackhawks on Thursday in a match-up between Cloverbelt and Marawood conferences.
Each team came into the game on seemingly on different ends of the spectrums. The Falcons have been searching for wins, while the Blackhawks were riding a three game winning streak.
Owen-Withee (8-9; 6-7 ECC) pushed that win streak to four with a 56-36 defeat of Abby. The Falcons simply had no answer for Brianna Simington, who led all players with 20 points.
Simington wasn’t the only Blackhawks to pierce Abby’s defense. Owen-Withee’s Jasmine Stock and Lexi Nernberger, aided the Blackhawk’s cause with nine points apiece.
Abby’s leading scorer was senior Jayden Falteisek, who scored a season high 16 points. Bridgett Pogodzinski had nine points. Mya Ruesch scored seven, and Catie Clement tallied three points.
The Falcons were back on the road on Friday night, this time taking on the Marathon Red Raiders in a meeting between two Marawood Conference teams.
The Red Raiders have made huge strides from the 2018-19 season, where they finished 4-18. Like Abby this season, Marathon took its share of lumps last year but has come into their own in 2019- 20.
Abby went into the game riding a two game losing streak, while Marathon had recently enjoyed victories over Shiocton and Antigo. They added Abbotsford’s name to their list as they pushed their win streak to three, and their season record to 11-7.
Right from the get-go, the Falcons struggled against Marathon’s speed and size, turning the ball over and struggling to stop Marathon in the paint.
The Red Raiders were as equally effective on defense, holding Abby scoreless through the first five minutes before a Mya Ruesch basket made it 12-2 with 13:00 to play.
That lead ballooned up to 20 when the Red Raiders made it 26-6 with 7:37 remaining in the first half. By the time the first half was finished, so were the Falcons, down 37-15 at the break.
Marathon continue to roll in the second half as Abby continued to search for openings in the Red Raider’s defense, which were few and far to come by. Marathon held the Falcons to under 10 points in the final half, as Abby scored just six points in the last stanza.
The Red Raiders would see three players score in double digits, with Elizabeth Boehm scoring a game high 20 points and Bradyn Free and Kyli Blume adding 13 and 10.
Stats from the Marathon game were not available upon publication.
After several road games, the Falcons were finally back on their familiar home court. Unfortunately for Abbotsford, their opponent was Phillips, the top team in the Marawood - North, and they would be without starting point guard Mya Ruesch, who suffered an ankle injury.
The Loggers played like a top team, and as if their hair was on fire, racing up and down the court in the first half, scoring fast break bucket after fast break bucket for a huge early lead. But the Falcons found their own offense late in the first half as the Falcons heated up from deep.
Abby saw Catie Clement, Alea Graff, Marisol Garcia and Jayden Falteisek all knock down triples to make it a 61-28 game at the break.
From there the game took on a more evenly matched feel in the second frame as both sides began to get stops. The Falcons limited the Loggers to under thirty points in the second half.
Clement’s shooting touch continued into the final frame, with the junior scorching the Loggers from deep. Clement dropped four more triples on the Loggers in the second half.
Clement wasn’t the only Falcon feeling it in the second half. Graff scored pair of baskets, and Falteisek buried another three as Abby scored 22 points in the second half.
In total, three Falcons finished with double digits, with Clement scoring a team high 21 points. Falteisek added 11 and Graff tallied 10. Garcia scored six points, and Vanessa Maganda chipped in with two points.