St. Francis Falcons tangle with G.P. Vanier in basketball

Gord Fortin
Lakeside Leader

The St. Francis of Assisi senior Falcons boys’ basketball team played a hard game against Georges P. Vanier but in the end lost out.
The Falcons lost the Dec. 18 game 79-76 at St. Francis in Slave Lake to Vanier of Donnelly, Alta. Assistant Coach Natalie Dollevoet said that overall it was a good game. She described it as a nail biter. The action went back and forth for all four quarters. The two teams largely remained evenly matched.
“The guys played very well,” she said.
Dollevoet said the team did take the loss pretty hard. The Falcons entered the fourth quarter with a 10-point-lead. At the five minute mark of the fourth quarter Vanier’s coach called a time out and they worked on passing. This caused the Falcons to get flustered.
That said, the Falcons were able to keep Vanier’s lead narrow. Dollevoet said her team did find two opportunities for three-point shots in the closing moments of the game but neither shot made it in the basket.
“It just wasn’t in our cards for that night to get it in,” said said.
Dollevoet said the Falcon’s star of the game was #11 Blaise Ballester. He is a Grade 12 student who scored 26 points, got six assists and five steals.
Dollevoet said the senior basketball team this year has predominantly younger students. There are 10 Grade 10 students, one Grade 11 student and two Grade 12 students. The team has been making progress and is working together quite well. She feels the team will come together and do well in the season.
Prior to this game, the Falcons had been working on teamwork. Dollevoet feels the training is paying off as the team is communicating well on the court and passing the ball.
The Falcons have also been focusing on getting rebounds and boxing in the opposition.
Dollevoet plans to have the team work on slowing down the movement of the ball. This strategy will allow for more passing. This will allow the team to concentrate more on plays. It should provide more chances to get a shot on net before it gets frantic. They will also focus more on communication.
Overall Dollevoet feels this could be the start of a succesful year athletically.
“I think this is just a stepping stone into a great season,” she said.
The junior Falcons basketball team also saw action on Dec. 18 prior to the senior game. The junior squad took on Vanier’s junior team. The junior Falcons lost 56-36.

The St. Francis of Assisi senior Falcons took on Georges P. Vanier, from Donnelly, on Dec. 18. Both teams seen here rush to grab the ball before it goes out of bounds. The Falcons lost 79-76.

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