Falcons end season with 70-56 loss


Matia Puljic

As he dribbles down the court, senior Dominic Nenninger (0) looks to pass the ball. The Falcons lost their first district game to St. Mary’s 70-56 on March 1 at Cardinal Ritter.

Matia Puljic, Sports Editor

Despite their efforts, the varsity boys basketball team fell to the St. Mary’s Dragons 70-56, for their first round of districts on March 1 at Cardinal Ritter Academy.

From the start of the game to the end, St. Mary’s defense blocked almost every play that the Falcons had to offer. Senior Shane Conner said that the game did not go well at all, and he believes that a large part of that was due to their lack of offense and their mindset.

“The team went into the game with a very slow start and maybe we all weren’t ready to play at the moment. Their defense was speeding us up causing us to force turnovers, which led them to scoring easy buckets. We also needed to defend rebound as a team a lot better to stop the second chance opportunities,” Conner said.

However, coach Sam Haug said that he believes that the second quarter was the worst overall, as the team struggled to connect their passes.

“Not only did we only score six points in that quarter, but we committed seven turnovers. I think their pressure defense, coupled with some of our players being tired and in foul trouble, really hurt us that quarter. St. Mary’s was able to build a 15 point lead and we were never able to overcome it,” Haug said.

Junior Quincy Thomas said that although the game’s outcome did not go their way, the whole team can say that the season was one of the best ones in school history.

“Obviously it wasn’t the outcome that I wanted but it was a huge learning point for me. Overall the season went way better than expected, we ended up tying the school record for wins in a season and became one of the best teams in Summit Basketball history,” Thomas said.

Furthermore, Haug also said that this year’s team performed better than last year’s team did last season.

“We matched the school record for wins in a season (18) and finished with the best conference record in school history (2nd overall and 5-1 in games). I think there were two big reasons we had such a big jump from nine wins to 18 wins this year. First, we added two post players onto our roster that added a different component from last year. [senior Sam] Laaker and [freshman] Oliver [Puljic] gave us size to help defend, a post scoring threat and a huge rebounding advantage,” Haug said. “Especially when both played at the same time, it was hard for other teams to match up. The 2nd reason is that we returned about 95 percent of our stats (points, rebounds, assists, mins, etc) from last year’s roster. The kids had more experience and a whole extra offseason to get better skill and stronger.”