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Falcons shape up to beat Sheridan in second half

Aaron Hall | Interrobang | Sports | February 6th, 2006

It looked bleak early, but the Falcons persevered in a come-from-behind victory.

After being down 22-15 at halftime the Fanshawe Falcons women's basketball team picked up the pace in the second half, and subsequently defeated the Sheridan Bruins 50-44 on Wednesday, February 1.

After shooting terribly in the first half against Sheridan, the Falcons turned things around and outscored the Bruins 35-22 in the second half leading to their victory. Head coach Lori MacKay said that she informed the team of the importance of this contest during her halftime speech.

“You basically put it on the line, they are not playing the way they are capable of playing, and they can either go out in the second half and play the game they're capable of playing and walk out of here with a win or stink up the joint,” MacKay said.

“I used a couple other choice words that I won't say, but sometimes the girls respond to being yelled at and sometimes you have to go in there and give them the positive criticisms and the negative criticisms and hope they respond.”

The team was forced to compete without two of their top players and court leaders. Forward Jessica Finlay and All-star guard Julie Yagi, who were both nursing injuries, were unable to play and ultimately forced the inexperienced players to fill the void left behind.

“Brooke Simon is playing the basketball of her career right now, doing a phenomenal job, and Meghan McPeak, a rookie, is probably up for defensive player of the year as far as I'm concerned in the league, she's just doing a great job,” MacKay said.

“Everybody is contributing right now and they need to without having Jess and Julie in the line-up.”

Leading the way for Fanshawe against the Bruins was Kristin Bolianatz who scored 21 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and Brooke Simon who contributed 15 rebounds and four assists. Hitting the most clutch shots on the team, and providing an edgy leadership on the court was guard Penny Ackersviller, who scored 13 points and added 10 rebounds.

“She was draining her threes really well in the second half,” said Ackerviller's teammate Meghan McPeak. “She wasn't hitting them much in the first half but she was hitting them when we needed them the most in the second half.”

“Penny has just done a phenomenal job. She struggled offensively last year, but the confidence is coming from the floor time that she is getting and she is starting to be successful and doing a great job,” said MacKay.

Ackersviller was modest with her performance but she said the team knew what they had to do.

“We needed to win the game, that kind of motivated us all, and I knew I needed to go out there and score and do defensive stops,” said Ackersviller.

The Falcons also hosted their 13th annual Women's Roundball Classic held on January 27 and 28.

The Falcons were not as successful the weekend before the game against Sheridan, as they hosted their 13th annual women's basketball tournament. Fanshawe dropped a contest to Humber College 70-40 and later defeated Niagara College 50-46 in the Consolation final. Bolianatz was named to the tournament All-star team.

“Humber came in and beat us handily and that just shows us that we need to be better for getting into the Ontario championships,” said MacKay.

The Falcons quest for provincial gold will continue on Wednesday February 8 when they host the St. Clair Saints.
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