Eagles drop nailbiter to Montabella in district tilt

March 23, 2017

By Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

The Farwell boys basketball team saw its season come to a difficult end in its class ‘C’ district opener on March 6. The Eagles, battling visiting Montabella fell 53-52 in a closely battled contest.

“Just a heartbreaking game, we were in control most of the game and then all of a sudden we went cold and started taking some very questionable shots that was not part of the game plan at all,” head coach Jason MacLean said. “Not sure if it was nerves, but I was just really disappointed in the lack of senior leadership down the stretch. One bad decision turned into more and it just spiraled from there.”
The Eagles had topped the Mustangs in an early season battle this winter, but the Mustangs got revenge in the post-season.

“Credit Montabella, they hit some extremely difficult and deep threes to get back into the game and ultimately win it,” MacLean said. “Our inability to keep our composure and allow Montabella to get back into the game is upsetting particularly because it was on our home court and we were primed for a run in the tournament. Sometimes you go through a game like this and don’t have a lot of answers but the fact that there was a lot of selfishness towards the end by certain players that are seniors that think they can’t rely on teammates is the most disappointing. Otherwise, I was really proud of the players who finished the game because their effort was outstanding.”

Leading the way in the game was Austin Tigner with 16 points and 12 rebounds, Jacob Graves had seven points and five rebounds, Collin Maxey added five points and MacLean also noted Maxey’s strong play on defense.
On March 2 the Eagles closed out the regular season with a double overtime loss to visiting Harrison, 68-67.
“We played hard for 40 minutes,” MacLean said. “We came out and played pretty well. I was really happy with the fact that we kept playing hard and kept our composure even when we got down 12 points.”
The Hornets led the game 12-8 after the first quarter and 26-23 at the half before the Eagles swung back to lead 39-34 entering the fourth. From there the game was knotted up at the end of regulation and one overtime session.

“We had four guys foul out and that put us in a tough spot, but I was really happy with how some guys played when the others fouled out,” MacLean said. “We just played with a confidence which is something that we haven’t always done so playing with nothing to lose was gratifying as a coach. The game was back and forth towards the end but Harrison made one more play than we did and that was the difference in the game. There was a couple of questionable calls late that went against us, but that’s how it goes sometimes and on one is perfect.”

Leading the way was Tigner with 26 points and 15 rebounds and Caleb Pitts had 16 points and seven assists.
Farwell finishes the season 5-16 overall and 2-12 in the JPC.

“That is a steady increase from three wins and zero wins the previous two seasons,” MacLean said. “We will miss the two seniors in Tigner and Logan Osborn a lot but we will be ready to go next season with a good group returning that truly like each other and are easy to coach.”

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