PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Falls City grows up on the court

FALLS CITY — Falls City’s girls basketball squad has experienced some big swings.

The Mountaineers opened the season with three losses before going on a five-game win streak, followed by a three-game losing streak after a 39-37 setback against Crosshill Christian on Friday.

“We’re learning to let go of our mistakes,” junior Amara Houghtaling said. “That’s definitely our biggest thing. It’s challenging for us. We want to be perfect. But we have to remember to be successful, you’re going to make mistakes and we can learn from them.”

Falls City has a mix of players like Houghtaling, who have years of experience, and new players, some who have little to no basketball experience.

“I’ve seen a lot of growth,” senior Brittany Potts said. “We have a new girl playing (basketball) for the first time. This is only my second year playing, so I’m still picking up things as well.”

For the seniors, this season is as much about teaching their younger counterparts giving advice that, while things may seem difficult now, they will get better.

“It was really awkward at first (for me last season),” Potts said. “I didn’t know anybody. I hadn’t played basketball since, like, seventh grade. Everything was hard. I was out of shape, I was trying to learn how to shoot right and work on my footwork. I got the hang of it, but it was difficult that first day.”

Making that learning process more difficult is the lack of a junior varsity team, but players have seen steady progress.

“We have really good energy,” Houghtaling said. “That win streak was kind of a turning point in our season. We saw a different energy. We’re a young, but experienced team. Every team has its setbacks, but we’re learning how to face them and grow.”

The team has made significant strides. What started as a more disjointed offense has evolved into a smoother flowing system, and as players gain experience and confidence, Falls City has shown it can hang with some of the league’s best, playing Crosshill Christian and Jewell, the Casco League’s second- and third-place teams entering the week, close.

The team’s next step is knocking off the Casco League’s top teams. The Mountaineers host Perrydale, the league’s first-place squad, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“We have a couple of hard games coming up, but we’re not going to get anywhere without facing them,” Houghtaling said.

Most importantly, the Mountaineers want to see continued growth and development and to not be afraid to stay aggressive, regardless of the score.

“Instead of saying do this instead of that, we’re telling each other, ‘you got this,’” Houghtaling said. “We’re thinking about the way we talk to each other to stay positive. Playing with this team is fun. We have good times. I’ve enjoyed it.”


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