The tide of Tuesday’s boys basketball clash between the Catalina Foothills Falcons and Mountain View Lions was dictated by Falcons shooting of guards Carson James and Hayden Moser. The pair teamed up to thwart the Lions on their home court, with James scoring 24 points, while Moser led all scorers with 29 in the team’s 72-53 victory.
The teams traded blows for much of the first three quarters before Moser scored 18 points in the fourth, pacing the team’s double-digit victory. The junior attributed much of his success on the offensive end to his team’s ability to force turnovers, feeding him open looks on the offensive end.
“I think we were kind of being selfish on the offensive end (in the first half),” Moser said. “Then, in the second half, we just passed the ball a lot better, and we just took the smart shots. I think that was a factor in the game tonight.”
Moser’s fourth quarter offensive output came at the right time, with the Falcons hanging to a 49-37 lead at the end of the third.
Moser praised teammate James, who scored 19 points in the game’s first three quarters of action, for his ability to spread the ball around.
According to Moser, James was the cog that allowed the Falcons’ offense to thrive, sucking in defenders before whirling passes to open teammates to extend their lead.
“[James] takes the leadership role on this team, and then I just try to feed off his energy and give it to the rest of the team,” Moser said. “Next year, I know that I’m going to be able to do the same thing to my teammates, and I’m just glad to have such a great model on my team.”
Longtime Falcons coach Doug D’Amore, who led Catalina Foothills to the semifinal round of the 4A playoffs a year ago, said Tuesday’s victory is a confidence-builder for his squad.
D’Amore believes the team’s ability to defeat a talented Lions squad in their season opener speaks to their potential, despite losing last year’s leading scorer, Sam Beskind, who graduated last year.
“We started focusing on our scheme and not kind of going away from ourselves,” D’Amore said. “It was not a pretty win and there was a lot of mistakes, so it'll be a good learning lesson on film.”
Establishing an identity
The main take away from the night for Mountain View coach Corey Duck was his team’s lack of identity on the court. The key for the Lions moving forward, according to Duck, is to get back into the gym and hone the team’s skill set so they can avoid a similar result in future games.
“We ran into a totally good team tonight,” Duck said. “We played well in spurts, but we left a lot of their players open, and in the end, they hit a few more open shots than we did.”
To read more about what Coach Corey Duck had to say about his team’s performance, and what’s next for the Lions, pick up the Dec. 5 edition of Explorer and Marana News.