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LEWIS PALMER vs. FALCONThe Lewis Palmer ball game was the first one that I had the opportunity to attend since the holiday break, and what an improvement. It was like darkness turned into daylight. If I have ever seen a better, more exciting game than this one, I am having a hard time recalling it.The first three quarters were rather nondescript, with numerous lead changes and point runs by both teams. The score at the end of the first quarter was 13-11, Lewis Palmer ahead; and 23-20 at the half, again in favor of L.P. Lewis Palmer had the largest point spread in the third period. They managed to run 8 points for an 11-point lead, but the Falcons came right back with a run of their own. At the buzzer, Adam Link put in 2 to bring the score within 2 at 35-33.The fourth quarter played out much like the first half, with Lewis Palmer controlling the lead for most of the time – until about 0:2:30 left in the game. That’s when the lights went out in Georgia for the L.P. team. Jordan Yates made a 3-pointer from downtown to put the Falcons within two and then came right back and sank a 2-pointer. All this was done within about 30 seconds. L.P. then put in 2 points and Lewis Baumann nailed a 3-pointer for Falcon. Both teams were playing a half-court pressure defense. Onorio Franco stole the ball and with his assist, Adam Link put up a field goal to tie the score at 45. Link then made another field goal to take the lead at 47-45. Franco hauled in a defensive rebound and was fouled but missed the free throw. John Kienast, playing his usual tough defensive game, got the rebound and stuck in a put-back for 2 points to make the score 49-45 with 01:10 left. The next two times down the court for both teams produced nothing, and with 35 seconds left, the ball got away from the Falcons’ Yates, and L.P. took advantage of it to throw down a field goal and pull within 1 point of the Falcons – 49-48. With 13.8 seconds left, Lewis Baumann drew a foul and sank both ends of his charity tosses to make the score 51-48. L.P. missed their next shot and immediately fouled Kienast, who got the rebound, but he missed the front end of his one-and-one with 3.7 seconds left. L.P. rebounded the missed free throw and had one last shot, but the pressure put on by the entire Falcon defense was way more than they could handle; their final hurried shot didn’t even make it to the glass. Final score: 51-48 Falcons. Sports fans, this caliber of high school basketball is just about as good as it gets; and, if you do not get out and see some of this action, the season will soon be over and you will not get another chance this year. Let’s put some derrieres in those vacant gym bleachers and make some noise. You will not regret it.This is Doug Ravasdy’s first year as the head basketball coach at Falcon High. He received his physical education degree from Point Loma College in California and coached in his home state for 15 years. Ravasdy and his wife Alison have two children, a boy and girl. I asked the coach what precipitated his move to Colorado and he said a friend of his, who now lives in Colorado, was an assistant coach where he coached in California. His friend told him if he ever wanted a change of scenery, Colorado was a great place to make that happen. The assistant coach who got him to move to Colorado is Mark Miller, his assistant varsity coach at Falcon. The rest is history. It appears that Coach Ravasdy is a good fit for the Falcon program.He said his expectation for this year is to win their conference and see just how far they can get in the district and regional playoffs. He also said that this team has a wealth of untapped talent, and experience will come with time. If they can keep control of the ball, they should be in good shape, he said. After watching the above game, their ball control was exceptional and that can put a lot of Ws in the win column. This club also seems to be team oriented, as they like to have everyone in on the scoring, rather than rely on one “big gun.” However, if someone has the hot hand, they don’t have a problem getting him the ball. After the Lewis Palmer game, the Falcons have won six in a row, and that hasn’t happened by chance. The boys and coaches are to be congratulated. FALCONS vs. SIERRAI didn’t make this game, but I’ve heard the Sierra team is a powerhouse with a winning record. The Falcons played a respectable game, losing by just 12 points.FALCONS vs. WASSONFree throws can kill, as evidenced in the game against Wasson.Wasson came into the game with a losing record but went home happy campers after defeating the Falcons in overtime by a score of 57-52. The game started out good – and bad. After Wasson scored the first two points of the game, the Falcons reeled off 13 straight points in what looked like a possible rout. The bad part of this game was that the exciting-to-watch point guard, Onorio Franco Jr., did not dress and sat the entire game on the much-maligned pine boards. I spoke with Franco before the game, and he said he had an appointment with his surgeon the next day and was advised not to play. Ryan Livechhi took Franco’s usual point guard position, and played it well. Franco will evidently be out until the playoffs start. I will have more on this in the next Vinnie Mac Sports Corner.In what appeared to be a one-sided ball game after the first quarter – Falcon ahead 20-7 – the tide changed. Wasson outscored Falcon in the second quarter, and came within four at the end of the first half – 29-25, Falcon.After many times up and down the court in the third period, the Falcons held a 1-point advantage – 36-35. With 3.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Falcons were down by 2 – 46-44. Coach Ravasdy called a timeout to diagram one last play for the Falcons. It worked to perfection, as the back-door play was good for 2 points and a 46- 46 ballgame at the end of regulation play.In the four-minute overtime, Adam Link was about the only thing the Falcons had going for them. He made four free throws, one field goal and blocked one shot. John Kienast fouled out late in overtime. With 17.1 seconds left in overtime, Wasson only led by 2 points – that’s when the free throw shooting kicked in. All 11 points (out of 16 attempts) scored by Wasson were at the charity line.This game was a good one to watch. The Falcons never gave up and played with plenty of intensity. Lewis Bauman was the hot hand for Falcon, with 25 points, followed by Adam Link with 16. As a team, Falcon shot 35.1 percent from the field and 11 for 21 from the charity line. Obviously, free throws can be the difference between the win or loss column. There are only four more home games left before playoffs begin. If you have not been to many, or any, your next chance will be Feb. 14 against Valor Christian at 7 p.m. at home. It’s not too late to show your support for these athletes.Falcon cheerleaders getting high points, tooPictured are the Falcon High School girls who made up the cheer squad that traveled to the state championship cheerleaders’ tournament in Denver in December 2008.To be a member of this elite squad, girls in good scholastic standing can try out at FHS. The girls’ coaches judge and choose the girls, who will then become members of the cheer-state/competitive team.Mary Ann Wilson is the head cheerleading coach. She has three assistant coaches, and her daughter Ashley fills in when needed. After finishing 18th last year, the above cheer squad placed third at the championships this year, with a total score of 94. Rock Canyon High School won the competition, with a score of 97, followed by Glenwood, with 95.The Falcon squad came close to winning. “It ain’t over till it’s over” because Wilson had only four seniors on the squad of 23 girls. Just wait until next year. This squad put in more than 100 hours of practice after school and Saturdays. “They really worked hard and that work paid off,” Wilson said. “They made coaching a joy.” All four seniors have been part of the cheer program since they started high school.The girls have plenty of excellent training. Wilson has been a cheer coach for 23 years. She coached from 1982 to 2005, took a little vacation and then returned to Falcon in 2008. Wilson was on the cheer squad in high school in Texas and a college cheerleader at West Texas State College, where she graduated with degrees in physical education, social studies and speech. Wilson also has worked as a speech pathologist. She also coaches girls and boys track at Falcon. Besides daughter Ashley, Wilson has two sons: Mark is a teacher in Parker and Michael is a director of personnel for Southwest Airlines. When she’s not coaching, Wilson enjoys skiing (I assumed snow, but there isn’t much snow where she came from, so maybe it’s water skiing) and country western dancing.All the cheer competitions are finished for the school year, but you can still watch the yell squad in action at the sports events. At the Lewis Palmer-Falcon basketball game in January, the girls cheer squad put on quite a halftime routine.See you at the next Vinnie Mac Sports Corner.This column does not necessarily represent the views of The New Falcon Herald.

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