STOCKTON – In the final seconds of the game, sophomore point guard Austin Maynard squared up to fire off a 3-pointer only to watch as it went nearly all the way into the basket before popping back out. His teammates banged underneath the basket battling for the rebound while bodies flew every which way without a whistle.
That 20-second span was representative of the Falcons’ night in a nutshell.
Fighting off poor shooting, physical play and quick guards, the No. 10 Falcons fell 62-54 in their Division V Sac-Joaquin Section first-round playoff game at No. 7 Brookside Christian Wednesday night.
The Falcons began the game shooting 2-for-16 in the first quarter and scoring just five points, with one point coming from the free throw line and two coming on a dunk from senior center Nate Holt. Forest Lake Christian trailed 12-5 after the first quarter.
Holt attributed some of his team’s shooting woes to being somewhat intimidated under the hoop with contact coming fast and furious.
Forest Lake Christian steadied the ship in the second quarter, but still trailed at halftime 25-19.
Brookside Christian, however, began the third quarter on a 17-2 run in which its guards Ð especially Lonnie Taylor and Synjohn Sears Ð took over.
“I saw more uncalled contact tonight than I’ve seen all year,” Forest Lake Christian coach David Thomas said. “But to our credit, our guys didn’t lose their cool and never fell apart.”
Even as the lead ballooned to 21 points toward the end of the third quarter, the Falcons continued to press on as they entered the final quarter down 48-30.
Forest Lake Christian utilized a 10-2 run of its own to begin the fourth quarter, with sophomore shooting guard Ben Sparling rattling off seven quick points.
After turning up their defensive pressure, the Falcons pulled to within 57-51 with one minute and 43 seconds remaining. The game would get no closer, however, as the Falcons missed 12 of their 13 shots down the stretch and were forced to foul, with the Knights making just enough to seal the win.
“Our guys just don’t know how to close out anybody,” Brookside Christian coach Timothy Dunham said. “I’m just glad we got out of here with a win.”
Sparling led the Falcons with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, with Adam Reed adding 13 points. Reed played the game with a severely bruised hand that limited his offensive capabilities. Andrew Ritchart totaled six assists and five points.
“Obviously I think we missed Adam being 100 percent-especially on the press break,” Thomas said. “For some inexplicable reason we missed a lot of shots early. I think their quickness bothered us.”
Playing in his final game as a Falcon, Holt turned in a double-double, which was nearly a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks. Holt will continue to play basketball next year at either California Baptist or The Master’s College.
It was also the final game for senior Kevin Smith.
Taylor had a game-high 30 points for Brookside Christian.
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail her via stacyh@the union.com or call 477-4244.
BROOKSIDE CHRISTIAN 62,
FOREST LAKE CHRISTIAN 54
Forest Lake Christian 5 14 11 24 – 54
Brookside Christian 12 13 23 14 – 62
FOREST LAKE CHRISTIAN (54): Nate Holt 4 3-7 11, Ben Sparling 6 0-0 15, Andrew Ritchart 2 0-0 5, Luke Ziegenmeyer 1 0-0 2, Austin Maynard 2 3-4 8, Kevin Smith 0 0-0 0, Adam Reed 4 4-6 13. Totals 19 10-17 54.
BROOKSIDE CHRISTIAN (62): Paul Petchul 0 0-0 0,Rodney Brown 1 0-0 2, Lonnie Taylor 8 11-13 30, Randy Lilly 1 0-0 3, Nick Pittman 0 0-0 0, Synjohn Sears 5 2-4 12, James Binder 2 0-2 4, Harold Jackson 0 0-0 0, Lavelle Shoals 1 2-4 4, Travis White 3 0-0 7. Totals 21 15-23 62.
Fouled out: FLC – Richart. Total fouls: FLC 19, BC 16. Technical fouls: none.
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