FLANAGAN – With three wins already in hand, the Fieldcrest girls sought a fourth versus Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland. Unfortunately, regular season victories do not carry over or have any value in terms of the state tournament series.
The regional hosts sent the Knights to the sidelines with a 42-34 upset in a Feb. 7 semifinal.
Fieldcrest (19-7) scored the game’s first nine points and held F-C-W (10-19) six minutes and two seconds off the scoreboard before Liberty Vollmer’s three got the Falcons their first field goal.
“We started off well in the first (quarter) then we hit a wall,” commented Fieldcrest coach Mitch Neally. “We could not score in the second. Credit to them (F-C-W). They played good defense.”
The Knights held a 13-4 lead then went just over eight minutes without a point.
Meanwhile, F-C-W embarked on a 15-0 run to take a 19-13 advantage before Fieldcrest’s only points of the second period came on a driving layup from Leah White.
“We took some shots that I liked, but we did not make them,” Neally said. “That was a credit to their defense. They made things tough. Sometimes, it felt like there was a lid on the basket.”
F-C-W made five of nine attempts from behind the three-point line.
“We knew (Jadyn) Mitchell could shoot the three, but the other girl (Regan Reed) made some shots,” said Neally. “They got that confidence and confidence can go a long ways.
“We knew playing them a fourth time was difficult, especially here,” continued Neally with the homecourt advantage. “When they got some momentum, it carried them throughout the game.”
F-C-W stretched the lead out to 10 at 35-25. The Knights got as close as four, lastly at 38-34. Madi Hock’s hoop, which appeared to be a three, was ruled a two. Had it been three, the margin would have been three instead of four.
After a meeting of the three officials at the scorer’s table, the decision was the basket was a two instead of three. Neally disagreed and was assessed a technical foul. Mitchell sank one of the two free throws, but more importantly, the Falcons kept possession of the ball.
“I had the best view and I thought it was a three,” he said. “I was kind of upset. I threw a clipboard. That was my fault. That was a big part because it could have cut it closer.”
The Falcons attempted just 20 shots the entire game, including one in the fourth quarter. They sank eight for 40 percent. Mitchell scored a game-high 14 points, while Reed (12) and Elise Kane (10) were also in double figures. Mitchell and Kane combined to sink 20 of 28 free throws, as F-C-W was 21 of 32 overall.
Hock and lone senior Emma Lorton each had nine points for Fieldcrest, who finished 13 of 44 from the field for 30 percent. They connected on six of 10 at the foul line.
“My girls fought hard,” stated Neally. “Nineteen and seven is a good year. We return everybody but one (player) so hopefully that drives them for next year.”