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Falcon Middle School Girls Basketball“We work as a team, and our offense is really smooth. We are a very unselfish seventh grade basketball team,” said Shelby Goniea.These are the words of a championship team. “Big Mac” as her teammates call her, Shelby Goniea, a seventh grade 5’7″ center, averaged 12.5 points per game and pulled down 11 rebounds a game as well. In basketball terminology, this means she averaged a double double season. This would make any coach happy.Falcon Middle school seventh grade girls ran the floor to an 8 – 0 perfect season.Talent wise, this is the best bunch of girls I’ve coached.They work really hard at practice and within the first few days of practice, I knew that this group could be something special, Coach Tammy Cook said.”Moose” Michelle Musseau said the eighth grade girls had a great season as well. Michelle Musseau, an eighth grade 5’5″ forward averaged 8.5 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 4 steals per game. Other contributors were Keli Coffey and Jennifer Escobedo, both pouring in double digits in points per game.We really started to click and come together at the end of the season. With a record of 5 – 1, our only loss was Fountain, said head coach Toni Murphy.It just happens that on Monday, Feb. 13 in the early evening, these two teams will be playing for the Middle School championship. The last time these teams met, Fountain had a fantastic game. Coach Toni Murphy said, “We can beat this team. We need to come out strong and be mentally focused. I have complete confidence in these girls. We have worked so hard to get here, that either way I am a proud coach.”With the looks of things in the middle school girls basketball program, Falcon High School should be very excited about the incoming student athletes.NCAA March Madness2006 final four: Welcome to the DANCEIn less than 30 days, the Dance will be under way. The 65-team tournament for the final four will be set, 65 teams with one team becoming the champions of the NCAA Division I Basketball. Sunday, March 12, at 6 p.m., the brackets will be set. All the NCAA basketball teams will be glued to their television sets wondering if they have made the cut. Out of the hundreds of NCAA teams, only 65 will have the opportunity to showcase their talent.This year’s site for the final four will be held in the “Amateur Sports Capital of the World” in Indianapolis, Ind. This will mark the NCAA centennial year of supporting the NCAA student athlete. March Madness has become as big a sporting event as any major sport. What makes this event so special are the student athletes, the students and the colleges that make the tournament. It’s pure school spirit.As a coach, we call this a one-and-done-type tournament. If you win, you move that much closer to the final four. If you lose, you go home and start preparing for next year.Here are my picks for the top-four in each division. I want to challenge my readers to do the same. Pick your four. Compare them to mine, and we will see who gets to brag for the months to come.Planting the seedsProjecting the top-four seeds in each of the NCAA tournament’s regions. The bracket will be announced March 12:Atlanta1. Duke The nation’s best two-man team.2. Villanova In the running for a No. 1 seed.3. Tennessee Vols continue as SEC surprise.4. Pittsburgh Needs strong finish to move up.Oakland1. Texas Proving to be one of nation’s top teams.2. UCLA Need to win Pac-10 to get a 2 seed.3. Illinois Loss to Penn State costs a seed line.4. Georgetown Hoyas will be a dangerous team.Minneapolis1. Memphis Tigers can’t afford any C-USA upsets.2. West Virginia Perhaps the nation’s best shooting team.3. Gonzaga Lack of league strength hurts Zags.4. North Carolina State Unique offense makes Wolfpack dangerous.Washington, D.C.1. Connecticut Only the Huskies can beat the Huskies.2. Michigan State Spartans always a tough out in March.3. Florida Gators will need half-court game in March.4. Iowa Nice blend of experience, talent.Final Four sleeperIowa. The Hawkeyes — surprise! — are on top of the jumbled Big Ten. Iowa is 7-2 in league play (18-5 overall) and ahead of five teams with three losses. The Hawkeyes start three seniors (including 6-foot-11 center Erek Hansen, from Bedford, above) and two juniors. Iowa is among the leaders in field goal percentage defense and has won 11 of its last 13.Mid-major sleeperMid-majors typically don’t make the final four. But each March, there’s a team (such as Wisconsin-Milwaukee last season) that sneaks in two upsets during the first weekend and fouls up everybody’s bracket. This week’s mid-major team to watch — George Washington. It’s hard to sleep on the Colonials, considering that they’re a top-10 team. But as the best team in the Atlantic 10, George Washington definitely has to be considered a mid-major sleeper. Few teams will go into the NCAA Tournament with as much balanced talent. Coach Karl Hobbs has 10 players who can run and jump. With a few breaks, its conceivable GW could play in Indianapolis.Rising stockTwo teams heading into the last month of the season on a roll: Kansas. The young Jayhawks made their statement with a second-half comeback against Oklahoma. Kansas could be a tough team to beat come March.Miami (Fla.). Former Texas assistant Frank Haith is in his second season, and his roster is finally getting healthy. The Hurricanes are in third place in the ACC and host second-place North Carolina State on Wednesday.Falling stockTwo teams heading into the last month of the season rolling over:Washington. Apparently, this team does need the energy of departed point guard Nate Robinson. The Huskies have lost three in a row and are 5-5 in the Pac-10. A fast finish is needed for an NCAA bid.Wisconsin. The Badgers lost two players last month. Neither was a starter, but Wisconsin’s depth was compromised. Coach Bo Ryan’s team has lost five of six (including that nonconference fiasco with North Dakota State) and in the process has gone from first to seventh place in the Big Ten.The coach’s final four picks:DukeTexasConnecticutGonzaga29th Annual Pikes Peak Presidents Day Hockey TournamentThe team behind the teams. Since the first tournament 29 years ago, the Pikes Peak Presidents’ Day Hockey Tournament has grown from a few teams to 100. Teams participate from all over the globe.Keeping hockey players on the ice and in good shape takes another team – a team of health care professionals.Dr. Ronald Royce, an osteopathic orthopedic surgeon from Front Range Orthopedics, got involved in the tournament three years ago. “My children play hockey, and I know that injuries are part of the sport. We are here as a free service to take care of any cuts, bruises, strains and sprains,” Royce said. He just returned from Russia as a physician for the U.S.A. Hockey Association, and knows how important it is to have fully trained physicians, therapists and certified athletic trainers on hand.Gina Lovejoy, director of public relations for Front Range Orthopedics, has been involved with the program for 16 years. “I have seen this program grow each year. With the trained staff that we have here at the World Arena, we have become the nation’s best amateur hockey tournament,” she said.When Royce put together his team, one of his first calls was to Lorne MacDonald, a certified physical therapist and the owner and of Falcon Physical Therapy. “When Dr. Royce called me, I jumped right in,” MacDonald said. “I have been involved for three years. This is a great way to get involved with the community”.The team is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and some of the best highly trained medical staff. Everyone volunteers their time, and all agree it is a perfect way to give back to the sport and the community.

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