A running clock
A quarter worth of time left to play
That may be enough to lead you to think that either coach changed their approach. That may be true of visiting Tigers' but I didn't watch how they handled the game down the stretch. The Falcons Kurt Motschenbacher had a team up 40 but had the posture of a coach whose team was only up a couple buckets or was losing by a couple points. On it's face it seemed unnecessary but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense & the more I liked it.
But well before the running clock came into play, was the turning point of the game. With about nine minutes remaining in the first half, the Falcons switched to a full court press. On five straight possessions by the Tigers, PCS trapped ahead of and close to half court. The pressure that it put on the ball handlers lead to several turnovers and the Falcons did not waste their fast break opportunities. Even with the success that it generated for them, the Falcons did not keep the press on for the remainder of the game. Maybe they called if off so that the players could last through the rest of the time or maybe it was the first mercy rule to come into effect. Either way the decision to go with the press for just a couple of minutes was key in the game getting lopsided in a hurry.
When Park did have to play in the half court, they moved the ball well, finishing with eight made three's. That's a number that will get it done most nights but is a bit of a surprise that it wasn't higher considering the team's lack of height. The transition layups that they finished on may have skewed the numbers, or maybe this is the kind of performance they'll manage on the regular this season. It's a wait & see on that, but for one night a two point heavy attack was more than good enough. The game finished with Karley Motschenbacher's 15 being the highest of all but she was joined in double figures by Ashley Hansen (13), Molly Metzger (12) & Eden Tofibam (11).
But back to the end of the game for a second. When you have a team up by 40 but with a coach with arms crossed, as focused as he could be & coaching on every offensive possession it could bring questions to mind, It did for me, and the answers were all good. He was treating it like a game that wasn't already well in hand and how nice it must be for the players to have a coach that is that consistent. They aren't playing to just win games and lose in the playoffs, they have higher aspirations than that so staying locked in through the final buzzer is an important lesson to learn. I think that it was also for the benefit of the players at the end of the bench that may not see much time this season, except for in games such as last nights. Coaching them in games is the best way for them to have a chance to make an impact later in the season.
I didn't mean to make this a referendum on the coach, but I see so many different approaches that I wanted to make special note of one that I thought was very appropriate. As I said in the moments after the game, the Falcons will be a fun team to follow this season and will be tough to beat.
Player of the Game
It was a balanced scoring night by the Falcons but one player still managed to be a standout.
Photo of the Game
For the rest of the gallery, click the pic!