Falcons Fall to Cholla Chargers 52-55
February 23, 2015
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On Thursday, January 15th, Catalina Foothills boys’ basketball took on the undefeated Cholla Chargers hoping to extend their two-game win streak.
Foothills dominated offensively and ended the first quarter 17-14 Foothills, but had trouble controlling fouls with six from the Falcons and only two from Cholla. Senior shooting guard Michael Pecora led the Falcon defense, effectively shutting down Chollas’ top scorers and set up two fast breaks that ultimately put CFHS in the lead.
During the second quarter, the Falcon defense slipped up and allowed Cholla to gain a sizeable lead, maintained after three free throws for Cholla. The Falcons only caught up within the last three minutes and finally tied with Cholla 28-28 after a much-needed basket from Dakota Kordsiemon in the last five seconds.
Foothills ended the first half with nine fouls and only four from Cholla.
Cholla’s senior forward Jorge Carrasco, hailed by the Arizona Daily Star as “arguably Southern Arizona’s top boy’s basketball player”, was nearly unbeatable on the court and racked up 27 points. Foothills’ inability to shut down Carrasco was quickly exploited and allowed Carrasco to get most of his points in the fourth quarter.
Coming into the second half tied, several flounders by the Falcon defense allowed Cholla to gain another lead before junior Nik Nehls and senior Dakota Kordsiemon caught up. A three-point basket from senior Michael Pecora finally put Foothills ahead, but Cholla quickly responded and ended the third quarter 39-41, Chargers.
The teams traded point after point during the final quarter, and neither team maintained a sizable lead. After several successful free throws in the last five minutes, the buzzer sounded 52-55, Chargers.
“I think that the refereeing was really one-sided,” commented senior CJ Ryan. “I know a lot of people in the crowd agreed with me. There were pretty much no calls on Cholla compared to us. I think that’s why we lost the game.”
Junior forward Nik Nehls was the star on the court, ending the night with 15 points, three fouls and playing all 32 minutes. Nehls sunk three unbelievable three-pointers in the first half despite Cholla’s unyielding defense and was a critical component in the Falcon offense.
The Falcons rebounded after the Cholla game with a seven-game win streak, and their victory over Canyon del Oro bought them a spot in sectional playoffs and a high seed in the state tournament.