FALKVILLE — Cheeks blushing a rosy red, Patricia Kilgore bashfully stated the obvious.
Expectations are rising for Falkville High’s girls basketball program.
For good reason, too. All the ingredients for success are in place, and positive results are pouring in — a trend West Morgan couldn’t stop as Falkville raced out to a quick lead, and then held off a late surge to beat the Rebels 52-46 Thursday night.
“I knew we were capable of having a good season after the great summer we had,” Falkville coach Jeff Andrews said. “All of these girls worked hard in the offseason — really committed themselves to doing what it takes to be successful. They’re seeing the results of that now.”
Andrews is right. Falkville’s strong first half of the season is not a fluke. The Blue Devils (12-1) have the makings of a team that can go far in the postseason.
That showed against West Morgan.
Sydney Moore consistently flashed the quick release on her jump shot, pouring in four 3-pointers while leading Falkville on a 19-5 run to open the game. She finished with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Falkville stretched its lead to 29-17 by halftime and never trailed in the game.
But for this Falkville team, increased offensive production isn’t the biggest difference. A commitment to playing an up-tempo style with swarming pressure defense, complimented by the return of Kilgore, the team’s steady junior point guard, is sending the Blue Devils toward their best season in years.
“We lost Patricia to a knee injury two minutes into the start of last season,” Andrews said. “Because of that, we had to use Sydney at point guard, which meant she wasn’t going to get all of the shots that she needs to take.
“Now we’ve got Patricia back, and that makes everyone around her better.”
“No one is happier about having Patricia back than me,” she said. “She makes everyone on the floor better. There’s no doubt about that.”
Kilgore’s importance is undeniable.
Even though Falkville used full-court pressure for almost the entire game against West Morgan, Kilgore remained on the floor for nearly every minute. And her energy never wavered.
Constantly running up and down the floor, Kilgore made her presence known through aggressive play. She was a nuisance for West Morgan in half-court traps, forcing four turnovers. The junior point guard also scored 13 points and had three assists.
Amanda Muse added 12 points for Falkville. Sydney Sanders paced West Morgan with 11 points, while Annie Homan and Jamia Gibson scored 10 each.
As Falkville closed out the fourth quarter for its 12th win of the season, there was no hiding the team’s confidence. Enjoying success nightly is the new norm, and it’s not because Falkville is now playing in a lower classification. Just five of the Blue Devils’ wins are against Class 1A opponents.
And the team’s goals? Well, let’s just say these days, the Blue Devils are aiming their tridents at higher targets.
“We worked our tails off this summer, and we expect big things,” Moore said. “This team, we communicate better and we play well together. I think we’re a well-rounded team that can do great things.”
“There are a lot of trustworthy players on this team,” she said. “I knew after our first game that we could go far, just from the way everything clicked. We’ve set big goals for ourselves, and I know we can make them happen.”
West Morgan boys 68, Falkville 34: Brandon Roberts poured in 24 points to lead West Morgan (15-4) past Falkville.
The Rebels raced out to a commanding lead, taking a 46-20 cushion into halftime.
J.T. Kirby finished with 13 points for West Morgan, while Dustin Morgan and Peyton Mullican each added seven.
Canaan Smith led Falkville with 14 points, and Travis Cole added 12.
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