Tigers lose 3-point lead, game in final 5 minutes

By Jason Schock
It was no secret that the weekend of Feb. 6-7 would be the most grueling of the 2014-15 Falls High School Boys Basketball season, and in that regard, at least, it didn’t disappoint, as Falls City lost a pair of games to ranked Class B opponents.

Friday, the Tigers saw an 11-game winning streak snapped at Class B No. 3 Seward with a 63-51 loss, then this afternoon came home and blew a pair of five-point leads in the third quarter of a 58-50 loss to No. 10 Crete. The Tigers, 16-3, suffered defeat for the first time since a Dec. 20 loss at Plattsmouth. It was the final home game ever for 10 seniors and FCHS’ first home loss since Dec. 21, 2013.

Saturday, Tiger senior Jordy Stoller (14 points, four steals) drilled a three-pointer with 1:36 to play in the third quarter to give his team a 37-32 lead, matching it’s biggest of the game. Crete senior Alex McGinnis (team-high 16 points), though, answered with a three of his own. It was a two-point Falls City lead, 39-37, entering the fourth quarter, but Crete senior Luke Siedhoff drove to the basket for two to tie it and a McGinnis offensive board and put-back gave the Cardinals their first lead since it was 26-24 late in the first half. FC senior Brenden Heckenlively made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 41 a minute into the fourth quarter, and the Tigers would later take the lead back when a Stoller steal and lay-up made it 46-43 with 4:40 to play.

The tide turned for good moments later, when Crete sophomore Rhett Harms (5-for-5 from the floor, 4-for-5 at the line) turned in a traditional three-point play to yet again give the visitors the lead, 46-45, with 4:31 left. By the three-minute mark, Crete’s lead had increased to five. The Tigers went 2-of-5 shooting from the stripe in the fourth quarter, while Crete was 9-for-15.

FCHS senior Weston Witt led all scorers with 17 points, hitting an outstanding 4-for-6 from three-point land. He hit a three one minute into the second half and shortly thereafter got a steal and lay-up to give FC one of its two five-point leads during the frame.  Witt added seven assists in his final game at FCHS. Senior Jack Hartman picked up a pair of fouls early in the game and scored a quiet nine points on 4-for-8 shooting. Hartman pulled down seven team-high rebounds.

Coach Don Hogue’s postgame comments and more Tiger Basketball coverage coming in Tuesday’s Falls City Journal.

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