The Eagles' 21-win streak comes to a close with loss to Panthers
Before he left the game in the fourth, senior Chandler Vargas made two key 3-point shots to put the Eagles ahead, during their final WSL game against Parlier. Vargas finished the game with 12 points but the Eagles lost to the Panthers, 66-60, Feb. 17.
BOYS' BASKETBALL SPORTS SHORTS, 2011-12
(Scrimmages do not count toward win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for boys' basketball features.) For a simple overview of scores and upcoming games, check the Winter sport box scores, 2011-12 for dates, opponents and times for all Eagle sports.
Be sure to visit the 2011-12 boys' basketball schedule, home page, roster page, or check out Maxpreps.com. FC finished 7-1 in the West Sequoia League. The Eagles are currently 22-2 overall as of Feb. 17. According to Maxpreps.com, FC has the top record in the state for the Central Section D-V basketball.
The Eagles have now advanced to D-V playoffs. Being the No. 1 seed, FC has a bye during the first week of playoffs. They will host a playoff game against the Tranquillity Tigers, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
BOYS' BASKETBALL, 2011-12
FC COMES UP SHORT AGAINST PARLIER, Feb. 17 .
The Eagles traveled to Parlier to face the Panthers in the last league game of the season, Feb. 17. The stands were packed for Parlier's Senior Night showdown. The score went back and forth the entire game as the teams contested for the win. FC played hard and did everything they could to put the ball in the hoop. The Panthers hit big shots down the stretch and pulled away with a 66-60 victory over FC.
The Eagles won the tip and the game began. Senior Brady Lee attacked the hoop and scored a layup within a matter of seconds. Parlier executed on offense by moving the ball around and scoring in the lane. FC scored in transition as well as in the half court set. Things were looking bright for the Eagles as they garnered an early lead. Senior Cooper Belmont scored a solid 9 points to lead his team in the first. Parlier's powerhouse Jose Hernandez, '12, matched Belmont with 9 points as well. Hernandez, who was the game high scorer with 22 points, seemed almost unstoppable on offense. Going into the second the Eagles led, 22-15.
"I was very proud of how the team responded to everything that went wrong Friday night. I am confident that we will bounce back from this loss, and I know that this defeat will only make the team stronger." --head coach Josh Justin
The game soon began to get chippy as FC committed multiple fouls. The game slowed down as Parlier shot several free throws from the line. Head coach Josh Justin needed to take players out of the game in order to preserve them for later on. The Panthers took advantage by scoring shot after shot in the half-court set. FC never let down their intensity. Though the foul calls seemed excessive, FC continued to play with fervor and determination. Sometimes, however, they forced passes which led to turnovers. At the end of the second the Eagles were down, 33-29.
Coach Justin feels like his team struggled on defense throughout the night.
"We did not play our best defense, and Parlier capitalized on that," Justin said. "It was a tough environment, and the ball just did not bounce our way."
In a drive through the paint, senior Ryan Neufeld is grabbed from behind by a Parlier defender while another attempts to prevent him from scoring. Neufeld led the Eagles with 17 points but the Panthers won on Senior Night, 66-60, Feb. 17.
FC came out strong in the third and began to execute on offense. Seniors Chandler Vargas and Lee both hit 2 3's to give their team positive momentum. Vargas and Lee later finished with 12 and 15 points respectively. The crowd was fully immersed into the game as both teams wrestled back and forth. Parlier scored by driving to the hoop and dumping the ball off to their post men. The Eagles continued to fall deeper into serious foul trouble. Belmont and Vargas both sat on the bench so they wouldn't foul out. The Eagles continued to fight in the midst of adversity. Going into the final quarter, FC led 45-43.
Senior Ryan Neufeld, who finished with 17, scored 6 points in the fourth quarter. Backed by Hernandez, the Panthers continued to attack the hoop and score buckets. Vargas picked up his fifth foul with over 7 minutes left in the fourth. With Vargas out of the game, the Eagles struggled on the offensive end. Later in the quarter, junior Brandon McCormick fouled out as well. Parlier hit some clutch shots to gain a 4 point lead with a minute to go. The clock was winding down as FC attempted to comeback. The Eagles missed their shots and Parlier hit theirs. FC resorted to fouling in order to send the Panthers to the free throw line. Parlier sank their foul shots and pushed their lead even further. Despite their hustle and intensity, the Eagles came up short, 66-60.
Though the Eagles lost the game, coach Justin stays optimistic. He says that his team handled everything in a good way.
"I was very proud of how the team responded to everything that went wrong Friday night," Justin said. "I am confident that we will bounce back from this loss, and I know that this defeat will only make the team stronger."
For more information on the Eagles season, check out Boys' basketball sport shorts: Eagles fight to the finish in win over Fowler (PODCAST).