EL PASO– The GCMS Falcons' girls basketball team's stint in the Heart of Illinois Conference tournament came to a close in El Paso on Wednesday night after a heartbreaking loss.
The team recently defeated the Flanagan-Cornell Falcons by 17 points to kick off the tournament on Monday night, 50-33.
In that game, GCMS came out to take charge to start things off leading Flanagan with a score of 13-6 to end the first quarter. Another 12 points from GCMS while holding FCW to seven gave them a 25-13 lead to head into half time.
From there, GCMS was able to put up yet another 25 points to FCW's 20 to maintain their lead to grab the win 50-33 and advance to face the Turks on Wednesday night. Sadly, that game didn't go as well for GCMS, as they fell to the Tremont Turks 40-34.
A three-pointer from the Falcons' Hannah Hathaway to start the game put GCMS up 3-0 over the Turks at the 7:25 mark in the first quarter. "Hannah had been kind of cold for awhile so it was good to see her come out and hit her shots tonight," said GCMS girls basketball coach, Keri Dornbusch.
The Falcons were able to keep their lead heading into the second quarter with a 9-8 score over the Turks. Once again, Hathaway managed to drop another three-point shot at around the seven-minute mark to extend the Falcons' lead 12-8. Tremont battled back however and ended up tying up the score 12-12 with 5:20 left in the half. The two teams continued to exchange baskets for the remainder of the quarter, with GCMS hanging on by just a one-point lead to move into half time.
The energy levels stayed the same in the final two quarters, battling neck and neck until about a minute and a half left in the game, where the Turks were able to break away thanks for some successful free throw shots.
"We had an opportunity to tie and take the lead but we turned it over and we had to start fouling," said Dornbusch.
"They made their free throws at the end so they did a good job of hitting their free throws at the end of the game."
Apart from Hathaway, Dornbusch also recognized some individual performances as well as her team's willingness to keep pushing and working hard.
"Kadyn Barnes coming in and hitting a big three-point shot there in the fourth quarter was big for us. Riley Brown and Abby Spiller have been solid for us on both sides of the court as well," said Dornbusch.
"All of the girls are working really hard and it can get frustrating sometimes when the win column doesn't show it."
Hathaway finished her night off with 11 points at the rim, nine of which were from three-point shots. Brown followed with ten points of her own while Spiller grabbed seven.
The team's next game will also be their final home game of the year on Jan. 27 and will look to take on Lexington at 5:30 p.m.
With the season winding down, Dornbusch said her team is going to just continue to play to the best of their abilities.
"One of our goals is to just finish strong so right now we're going to keep plugging away and working hard and good things will happen."