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Falcons head to SPC tournament in top division

Fort Worth Country Day Varsity Boys' basketball finished its season Friday with a 49-41 win against Fort Worth Trinity Valley and will head to the Southwest Prepatory Conference this weekend as fourth seed in the Division I bracket. 

Country Day, (6-3) will take on top seed Ft. Worth All Saints Episcopal (8-1) to start the tournament. This is the first time the two face off since Country Day defeated the Saints (54-50) in January. 

"We've played a pretty tough schedule and I feel like we've done pretty well," Program Director and Head Coach Joseph Breedlove said. 

Breedlove credits his successful season to the hard work his team put in. Stand out players include four-year letterman Nathan Bowser, who is heading to Citadel to play in the fall along with junior Dalton Dry who came back to the team this year after spending time away yet has done a good job, Breedlove said. 

Breedlove said he has also seen one unexpected player make a big difference, senior post Jim Roberts, who did not see much playing time last season. 

"He kind of got some spot minutes last year but really stepped up this year and has just been an energizer in a lot of different ways," Breedlove said. "He pounds the offensive boards, and is a good defender and rebounder." 

In the tournament, Breedlove said he hopes to see better outside shooting from his squad. 

"We've got to shoot the ball better a little bit, I think that will take some pressure out of our inside game," Breedlove said. "Teams are double and triple teaming our big guy, so a little outside shooting always helps." 

Breedlove said the staff plans to focus on outside shooting in practice by doing drills simulating the same pressure the players will face in the game. Changing to a more outside-oriented game shouldn't add any pressure to his point guards, he said. 

"With a senior and junior ball club, you would think that a lot of the pressure is relieved because they've been in that position before," Breedlove said. 

Taking better care of the basketball, cutting down on turnovers and lastly, making free throws are also aspects of the game Breedlove hopes to capitalize on during this weekend's tournament. 

"That's [free throws] been the Achilles heel for us during the season and you can't say enough about those," Breedlove said. 

Regardless of the outcome of this weekend's tournament, Breedlove believes Country Day's future is bright. 

The program is averaging about 36 players in the high school program and 36-40 in the middle school program, which are good numbers, Breedlove said. 

The Falcons, with eight seniors make up the second largest graduating class in all of Breedlove's time as head coach. 

"That will take it's toll a little bit, some of the underclassmen will have to step up a little bit next year," Breedlove said. "You'd like to think that it will bring about some success even as they get older." 

Country Day takes on All Saints Episcopal at Dallas Greenhill Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Phillips Gymnasium.

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