For the second time in as many tournaments, the Folsom Lake College women’s basketball team came home with some hardware.
The Falcons lost a heartbreaker to tournament host San Mateo in their opening game on Friday, and then bounced back with wins over Butte on Saturday and Santa Monica on Sunday to earn the consolation bracket trophy.
In Friday night’s primetime (7 p.m.) opener, the Falcons gave host San Mateo all they could handle before losing by four, 61-57. The teams took turns holding the lead through the first three quarters and entered the final period tied at 43, but the Bulldogs were just a little bit better in the final quarter. Falcon freshman Maleah Denault led all scorers with 24 points while making six 3-pointers. Sophomore Alma Perez added 13 points and grabbed six rebounds, while freshman Shay Boley impressed with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals.
On Saturday, the Falcons faced Butte College for the third time this season, having already lost to the Roadrunners twice in close contests. This time, the Falcons prevailed after breaking open a close game with a 26-point third quarter, winning 64-54. Perez recorded a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Kylie Gioia added 12 points. The win advanced the Falcons to the consolation championship on Sunday afternoon.
In Sunday’s consolation final, the Falcons eschewed playing defense in favor of lighting up the scoreboard, a tactic that proved successful in their 94-81 victory over Santa Monica. The 94-point total was a team record for points scored, as was the 16 total 3-pointers the team made. Boley had five threes, as she scored 25 points. Perez also drained five 3-pointers for 21 points and 6 rebounds, and Denault added 14 points with four threes. Denault also capped the tournament for the Falcons with a spot on the All-Tournament team.
The Falcons capped off a busy week by hosting Las Positas College on Friday - their third game in four days - but came up one point short, 91-90. The Falcons had a solid start, as they built a 14-point lead by halftime, 54-40, but the Hawks picked up the defensive intensity in the second half to limit the Falcons to 36 points. The game came down to the final minute with the teams tied at 90. After a defensive stop, the Falcons had a chance to win it in the final minute with the score tied at 90, but the shot missed and the Hawks collected the rebound with 12 seconds to play. The game looked like it was going to overtime, but a questionable foul call with one second to play put Las Positas at the free throw line, where they made one of two to clinch the win. The Falcons (4-7) were able to hang in against Las Positas (8-2) by virtue of their balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures. Matt Lyon (22 points), Grant Bellis (19 points), Will Fitzpatrick (18 points), and Zethan Dumpson (15 points) led the Falcon scoring.
The men and women will both open Big 8 Conference play at American River College on Thursday night beginning at 5:30 p.m. They will then host Cosumnes River on Friday, December 28 at Falcon Gym, with the men tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and the women at 7:30 p.m.