By Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel
FALKNER – Monday night, during the first half of their North tournament game against No. 4 seed TCPS, the Falkner Lady Eagles looked nothing like a team that had won 10 of their last 11, including the Division 1-1A Tournament title .
As cold as ice from the floor, Falkner struggled to get a firm grip on the lead until late in the second quarter. However, it turned the corner and used a second-half surge to win 62-36.
“We shot the ball about 20 percent in the first half,” said Falkner coach Jeremy White. “I told them, if we don’t make shots it was going to be a long night. They came out in the second half and responded.”
Falkner advances for the second year in a row. They face Coldwater, Thursday at 4 p.m. at H.W. Byers.
TCPS led 10-6 midway through the first quarter, before Brianna Williams scored five straight to give Falkner a one-point lead after one. Falkner’s leading scorer was 1 of 12 from behind the arc, but got going enough to finish with 19 points.
TCPS took an 18-16 lead on a layup by Molly Golding and a free-throw by Anniyah Pannell with 3:58 to play until halftime. That would be their last lead as Falkner refocused and took control.
Late second quarter buckets by Melissa Maldonaldo and Ambreka Peterson gave Falkner a 20-18 lead at the break. Peterson had a game-high 22 for the Lady Eagles.
Falkner (17-13) kept it going in the second half, scoring the first 16 points of the quarter. Williams and Peterson traded two baskets each for the first eight points.
TCPS went scoreless until the 1:00 mark of the third on a 3-pointer from Golding to make it 36-21. Williams answered with a 3-pointer of her own and Falkner led 39-23 to start the fourth.
“At halftime I told them that Falkner would come out with a lot of energy,” said TCPS coach Brenton Hadley. “We turned the ball over on our first three possessions and it went down from there.”
Golding led TCPS (5-24) with 17 points. Summer Williams added 13.