What a difference a day made for the Foss Falcons.
Jericho Ballard scored 22 points and Dezmyn Trent added 18 to lead the Falcons, the seventh-ranked team in 3A, to a 59-56 victory over Canyon Springs of Nevada in the third-place game of the Tournament of Champions on Saturday in Seattle.
The result – against the reigning Nevada 4A state champion – came despite a sub-par performance from Trent, who came in averaging 27 points a game, and just a day after Foss struggled from the floor in its loss to Union, which snapped the Falcons’ six-game winning streak .
The difference against the Pioneers: Foss figured out how to grind out a win – and did so without a huge game from Trent.
The Falcons (7-2 overall, 3-0 3A Narrows) overcame a rough shooting performance to win.
Foss shot a chilly 39 percent, including 5-of-21 accuracy on 3-pointers.
“That was probably one of our poorest performances of the year,” Foss coach Mike Cocke said. “We were tired. But these guys are resilient and we continued to compete.”
The Falcons lacked energy after playing three games in three days, including Grant – the No. 4-ranked team in Oregon – and a Union squad that placed third in last season’s 3A state tournament.
“I was mad coming into this one because I don’t like playing for third place at all,” Trent said. “But we had to come in and focus on (Canyon Springs). We had to represent. We can’t let nobody from out of state come and beat us.”
Trent scored 12 points in the second half and Ballard scored 15 of his 22 points after halftime, including a 3-pointer with just over a minute to play that put the Falcons ahead 57-54.
Canyon Springs answered with a Gerad Davis score to cut the lead to one. Ballard then missed a shot at the rim on the next possession but Michel Cocke was there to tip it in and push the lead to three with less than 10 seconds remaining.
The Pioneers’ Chris Swanson heaved a contested, fadeaway 3-pointer from the wing at the buzzer, but it was well short.
After two wins in a three-game stretch, the Falcons re-enter league play with a game at No. 1 Lincoln on Jan. 4.
Union 68, Franklin 55: The Titans handed No. 3 Franklin its first loss of the season, beating the Quakers in the championship game of their own event. Tyler Copp led Union (6-3) with 17 points and Patrick Ball recorded 16 for Franklin (9-1), which was held to a season-low 55 points after scoring a season-high 93 in a win against Canyon Springs on Friday.