Falcons take down Tabor

The Tabor men?s and women?s teams met defeat on the hardwood tonight, both losing close, hard-fought battles to Friends University. The Tabor men?s loss, 71-67, gives them an 11-6 conference record, enough for second in the KCAC below Sterling College (13-4). The Tabor women, who lost by two points, 74-72, now have a 7-10 conference record. The Bluejays face another road game Saturday against Bethany College.

Women

The Tabor women went neck-and-neck with Friends for the first few minutes of the ball game, before they slowly fell behind. However, in the middle of the first half the Bluejays found enough of a spark to hold the Falcons at 20 points and go off on a 10-point scoring run, helped by threes from Katlyn Mary and Amy Jo Maphet.

Leading the Falcons 24-20, the Bluejays allowed them a basket and then went on to a seven-point scoring run which put the Bluejays ahead by nine points, 31-22. Thanks to another three-pointer from Mary, the Bluejays kept their nine-point lead going into the locker room at halftime, 42-33.

The Falcons came out strong and hit the Bluejays with a 13-point scoring run early in the second half, stunning them scoreless and taking back the lead, 48-44. During the run the Bluejays also lost Whitney Polosky, who appeared to injure her leg and did not play the rest of the game.

Maphet hit a three-point shot with 14 minutes left in the game to snap the Bluejays? scoreless streak, but the damage had been done. The Falcons continued to steadily pull away from the Bluejays, not allowing them to score often and accumulating four and five-point scoring bursts to extend their lead. The Falcons led by the largest margin of the game, 63-51, with 7:50 left to play.

With just over six minutes left on the clock, the Bluejays staged a comeback, slowing the Falcons? scoring and putting some points of their own on the board. They crept up on the Falcons until they were within three points, 68-65, with 2:34 left to play.

Two free throws from Maphet tied the game, 72-72, with just 29 seconds left on the clock. Unfortunately for the Bluejays, the Falcons? Bre Selves sank a basket with 5/10 of a second remaining and the Bluejays? desperation buzzer shot fell short.

Maphet had a strong night for the Bluejays, leading with 22 points. Teammate Tynan Honn scored 16 points, and Mary scored 12 points. For the Falcons, Tavi Polley-Davis led with 20 points for the night, with Abril Marshall and Selves backing her up with 13 and 10 points respectively.

Men

The Tabor men struggled all night against a big, aggressive Friends team. The Bluejays pulled ahead at halftime, fell behind in the first part of the second half, and staged a late comeback that barely came up short in the final seconds of the game.

They traded baskets with the Falcons for the first few minutes, before a dramatic dunk from the Bluejays? Ryan Chippeaux jump-started their offense and gave them the edge they needed to stay ahead of the Falcons by two to six points.

With just under five minutes left in the first half the Falcons managed a late surge, taking a 25-24 lead with 4:41 left. Both teams combined to tie the game three times and take the lead three times in the ensuing three minutes of play time.

The Bluejays came out just ahead, leading 33-32 at halftime.

However, it was not to last. The Falcons stole the lead right out of the locker room and clung to it, gradually extending their lead but not managing to bring it into the double digits.

The Bluejays continued to fight back, usually staying within four to six points and always looking for blocked shots and steals. The Bluejays? Kyle Wallace stepped up in the final seconds to give his team a fighting chance, hitting two three-point shots with just 39 and 21 seconds left on the play clock.

A Bluejays? win was tantalizingly in reach, but Falcons free throws in the final seconds of the game gave them the narrow victory, 71-67.

Lawson Kingsley led the Bluejays in scoring tonight with 18 points, followed by Damon Dechant with 14 points and Dylan Clark-Kaneable with 11 points. The Falcons had four players in the double digits; Reggie Britton led his team with 13 points, and his teammates Drew Jones and Mike Hyde each had 12 points. The Falcons? Brett Stevens finished with 11 points for the night.

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