Missing 80 percent of its starting lineup, it's safe to say the Blair Oaks boys basketball team will look quite different in a few weeks than it did Friday night in the Jamboree at Helias.
And there's no way the Falcons won't be a deeper squad, as they dressed just six players Friday thanks to four starters getting ready for today's Class 3 state semifinal football game.
The Falcons dropped a 40-34 decision to Jefferson City in Rackers Fieldhouse in a game featuring three six-minute periods to open the night, then fell 40-33 to Helias in the Helias Gym in a game of two seven-minute periods.
"I was extremely happy with our effort, given the situation and our numbers," Blair Oaks head coach Ryan Fick said. "Our guys worked extremely hard knowing that we had a short bench. So the effort was definitely a positive."
Against Jefferson City, Blair Oaks fell behind by a 28-11 score with less than a minute left in the second period before mounting a comeback. Layups by Dylan Skinner and Thomas Verslues, followed by a banked-in 3-pointer from near half court by Garrett Kliethermes, helped the Falcons finish the period on a 7-0 run.
Blair Oaks walked the lead down in the final period before running out of time.
Jason Rackers - one of the few Falcons with varsity experience - led all players in the game with 13 points.
"I told the guys before the scrimmages it was a great opportunity for them to take advantage of the situation," Fick said. "We had a chance to break the monotony of practice and play in front of people."
Against Helias, Blair Oaks fell behind by as much as 11 - that at 20-9 - before ending the first period down 20-11. The Falcons got the lead down to three in the final period and had a chance for to grab a loose ball after Helias missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but the Crusaders got the ball back and scored before going on to the win.
"One of the things we've really stressed in practice is rebounding," Fick said. "We're trying to get our guys to commit to rebounding and tonight was one of those nights where with the two teams we played, we're not going to see teams that big on a night-in and night-out basis."
Tim Fick led the Falcons with 12 points against Helias.
Blair Oaks opens the season Dec. 1 at the Eugene Tournament.
"(Friday) was the first time we've had real officials, and it's definitely a learning experience," Fick said. "I'm glad we have the opportunity to have a Jamboree, because just having soap scrimmages and intrasquad scrimmages don't replicate what we were able to see tonight."
Additional coverage for this Jamboree:
Blair Oaks plays in Jamboree with less than full roster