Maya Mundy, a Perry Meridian senior, splits the Decatur Central defense to score two of her 20 points during Thursday’s Mid-State Conference game.
By Steve Page
In the second half of Thursday’s Mid-State Conference opener with visiting Decatur Central, Falcon second-year coach Amanda Davidson found what she was seeking.
“They showed composure,” the coach said of the Falcons. “They just fought a lot harder in the second half. I’m proud of them, even the players who didn’t start. They fought back.
“This game sets them on a new standard: They can hang with anybody they want.”
The Falcons certainly hung with Decatur Central before falling 54-49.
DC threatened to make this a blowout a couple of times, but the Falcons kept battling.
The Hawks scored nine of the game’s first 10 points, but the Falcons hung tight, trailing just 27-15 in the second quarter. DC led 35-20 at the half.
The Hawks started the second half strong, pushing the margin to 45-28 after three quarters.
But again, the Falcons rallied.
Freshman point guard Aubrey Hall hit back-to-back 3-pointers and her teammates helped trim the deficit to 50-43 with 4:20 to play. They actually closed the gap to 51-47 when Izzy Egan hit a baseline jumper with 2:15 remaining.
They had a chance to draw to within two, but turned the ball over with 1:51 to go.
Hawk freshman Naja Winston sank a follow shot with 1:22 showing, and despite getting a couple free throws with 62 seconds left, the Falcons could draw no closer.
Freshman guard Kamrah Banks led DC by scoring 23 points.
Still, Davidson liked what she saw from her young team.
The Falcons sport just two seniors -- 5-6 guard Maya Mundy and 5-5 Rhea Reagan.
“One senior plays AAU; the other does not,” Davidson said. “She just started playing two years ago. The juniors didn’t play much before I got here. To see them grow is gratifying.”
Those juniors are the 5-9 Egan and 5-10 center Kaleigh Butts.
“Izzy Egan moved from post to guard tonight,” Davidson noted. “That’s a tough situation.”
Mundy led the Falcons by scoring 20 points on five field goals and 10 of 15 free throws. The Hawks focused on her after intermission, as she scored 15 points in the first half.
“Maya Mundy had a tough second half,” Davidson said. “They put a lot of pressure on Mundy, but everybody played the role they were supposed to play, and that made the difference.
“They started realizing, ‘I can shoot the ball.’ That makes me happy. I wanted them to be more aggressive.”
“Aubrey Hall got us back in it with three 3’s.”
Hall scored all of her points on four 3-pointers. Mariah Thomas, a 5-9 forward, scored eight points on three field goals and two free throws. Sophomore guard Owen Harvey scored four, Egan and Butts two each and sophomore Aliysa Baird one.
The remainder of the team includes sophomores Emmi Cody and Ally Raymer and freshman Aubriana Haugh.
The Falcons scored more points, 21, in the fourth quarter, than the 20 points they scored in the entire first half.
“We had six fewer turnovers this game over the last game,” Davidson said. “We’ve got to with that and be positive.”
With such a young team, the coach just wants to see improvement as the season progresses.
“We just want to get better each game, whether it’s win or lose,” Davidson said. “If we can do that, I’m happy.”