Falcons topple Clayton 64-46


Mary Corkery

As junior Cece Hoeflinger (10) brings the ball down court, Clayton’s Taylor Miller (12) and Genevive Roach (11) close in on her and force her to lose control. The Falcons beat the Greyhounds 64-46 on Feb. 17.

Mary Corkery, News Editor

On Feb. 17, the basketball team became champions of the Suburban Conference Red Pool when they defeated Clayton 64-46.

Going into the game, head coach Chris Wilkenson said that keeping the game quick-moving was one of the team’s main goals.

“We wanted to really push the pace. We wanted to get the game up and down the court. We knew if the game was fast we would have an advantage. And the game played out that way,” Wileknson said

The Falcons finished the first quarter with a lead of 13-6. Despite getting ahead early in the game, junior Cece Hoeflinger said the game was one of the team’s most difficult, and they knew ahead of time that it was going to be a challenge.

“It was going to be a hard game. We were going to have to play really [well] if we were going to beat them, and if we didn’t defend their really good shooters, then we were kind of screwed,” Hoeflinger said.

By halftime, the score had jumped to 34-20, and the third quarter ended with a score of 48-33. Wilkenson said that he enjoyed watching the team work together and follow through with the plays they had prepared.

“One [highlight] was how everyone stepped up and made plays. That is always special as a coach,” Wilkenson said. “The second was how we followed the game plan and did what we worked on.

Closing the game with a 64-46 victory, the team earned their 18th win of the season and became the champions of the Suburban Conference Red Pool. The victory also came on senior night, which junior Paige Lehman said made the experience even more meaningful.

“I feel like it was exciting because it was also senior night, so it was also like a gift to the seniors as well, and we were all really excited to be conference champions. Our coach was really excited for us too, because I think this is the second time only in history, and we had the second most wins in Summit history,” Lehman said.

Wilkenson said the team was able to defeat Clayton despite their shooting skills because they watched how the team had played and were able to push them out of their comfort zone.

“Clayton scores the basketball really easily and my concern [was whether we] could make them work to score if we guarded really well. We were locked in on the scouting report. We tried to make them do something that they are not good at,” Wilkenson said.

The Falcons ended their regular season with a 56-51 win against Kirkwood on Feb. 21. For the postseason, Wilkenson said that focusing on their gameplay and staying confident will help the team advance.

“[Our goal] is to survive and advance. I know that is a cliche but that is the truth. We have to just keep getting better every day in practice and keep doing the little things. I think we have the opportunity to make some noise in the postseason if we just stay together and believe,” Wilkenson said.

The Class 5 District 5 Tournament will take place at Washington, and the team will face the Blue Jays in their first postseason game on March 2. For Hoeflinger, grit will help bring the team victory in the postseason.

“We need to play hard to win, and it’s going to be hard, but we’ll be fine,” Hoeflinger said.