Salpointe at Catalina Foothills Feb. 1

Catalina Foothills' Carson James drives against Salpointe's Jordan Gainey.

Christopher Boan

Tucson Local Media

A swarm of blue-and-silver-clad teenagers engulfed the stained wood floor at Catalina Foothills High School last Friday. The joyous masse of students wanted to embrace their hometown heroes only seconds after the home side rolled over longtime rival Salpointe Catholic, 72-60.

It was a fine night to celebrate for the Falcons and their fans, given the recent troubles the team has had with the Lancers, including a 68-57 win on Jan. 15.

Friday’s battle between the two longtime rivals flipped the script, thanks to a dominant third quarter by the home side.

That third stanza, in which the Falcons outscored the Lancers, 22-11, allowed coach Doug D’Amore’s team to build a sustainable lead. 

D’Amore praised the effort of senior guard Carson James, who scored 12 points, and underclassmen Will Menaugh and Hayden Moser, who scored 20 and 12 points apiece.

D’Amore, who’s coached the Falcons to a 17-5 record overall and an 8-1 mark in section play, said the offensive parity was what he’ll remember about Friday’s contest.

“Carson was part of the equation, but he wasn't the answer to everything,” D’Amore said. “We had every single guy who stepped on the floor tonight, contributed in the exact way I asked them to before the game.”

D’Amore said that the Falcons’ year-long success speaks to the camaraderie and team-wide, on-court cohesion that’s been forged over the past two months.  He added that his staff’s ability to turn the program into a perennial power in Southern Arizona stems from the ability to get the maximum amount of effort out of each player, regardless of their age or experience.

“You know it's so cliché, but we don't measure ourselves by wins and losses; we truly measure our growth every single day in practice,” D’Amore said. “How hard we work. The focus we have. And they're starting to learn. Slowly but surely, they're starting to understand. Tonight, kind of solidifies why we do what we do every day.”

The highlight of the night for James was getting to step onto the CFHS floor one last time, with his parents and siblings by his side.

The fourth-year player said touching the blue-trimmed court for a final time during the regular season, with the team finishing the year on the road against Sahuaro on Tuesday, was unique. 

“Senior Night obviously is a special moment for me, and the rest of the seniors,” James said. “It just feels good to come out with a win. It's something we didn't get to do last year. So that's a special moment for me, and I'm just so very much proud of the team.”

The other highlight for James was watching his teammates find success of their own, with three players finishing in double-digits.

The 6-foot-2-inch guard knows how important offensive parity will be going forward, as the Falcons look to win their first boys basketball title later this month.

Menaugh, who added nine rebounds to his 20-point showing, touched on how important it was for the squad to beat the Lancers on senior night.

“We all tried to play really hard for our seniors tonight,” Menaugh said. “It was their night, and we were just trying to get the win. We’ll keep trying to do our best and do everything we can to get a win in our next home game, too.”

The Falcons next face a road game against Sahuaro Tuesday, Jan. 5 to close out the regular season.

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