© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
The Cornerstone/Riverview Falcons junior varsity champions include co-coach Brittany McNevin (back left), Shaylea Locken, Emily Bowland, Haley Best, co-coach Dwight Cameron, Kelsey Balog (middle left), Rachel Schwinghamer, Morgan Patzack, Alysia Morin, Tatum Groff-Love, Falcon, Laura Taylor (front left) and Courtney Patsack. Not pictured: Marissa Mellor.
As far as championship games go, Monday’s junior varsity girls volleyball final couldn’t have been much closer.
The Cornerstone/Riverview Falcons and the Central Butte Bulldogs pushed each other to three games — and a point beyond — before the Falcons earned the Grade 9-12 girls junior title with a 20-25, 25-23, 16-14 win.
“They stepped up when they needed to and executed. They got the key points when they needed them,” said Dwight Cameron who is the Falcons co-coach along with Brittany McNevin.
“We play a good cop-bad cop,” added Cameron. “She told them they had to get it together or else we would be done. She told them that they have to fight for it. Central Butte is a good team and they’re not just going to hand us a championship.”
Central Butte had a comfortable lead for most of the first game. The Falcons stormed out to leads of 10-3 and 18-10 in the second game, but Central Butter went on an 8-2 run to cut the Falcons lead to 24-23.
“We were up 18-10 at one point and there’s a tendency when you get that big of a lead to put it in neutral” said Cameron. “They were able to bear down and fight through that.”
Morgan Patsack — a Grade 9 and the Falcons’ youngest player — hit a kill down the line to close out the second game.
In the third game the teams were tied 9-9 and the lead didn’t grow beyond a point until the Falcons won 16-14.
The Falcons were the top Grade 9-12 team in junior varsity during the regular season and were second overall in the junior girls league.
In Monday’s semifinal they beat Craik 25-21, 25-14, while Central Butte beat Chaplin 25-16, 28-26.
The Falcons will lose seniors Shaylea Locken and Marissa Mellor to graduation.