The golden rule in athletics is that success is measured by wins and losses.
But that isn't the lone way for a team to have a successful season. There are other variables that can determine how successful a season was turned in by a team.
Take the Foothill girls' basketball team this year, for instance.
The Falcons finished the regular season 9-13 overall and 4-6 in Valley Division play in the East Bay Athletic League. Throw in the 6-18 overall record last season, the 5-20 mark from 2019-20, and the 9-17 mark from 2018-19 season, and it looks like just another tough year for Foothill.
But this year was different.
For starters, the 4-6 mark was two wins better than last year's 2-8 league mark. The record was good enough to finish second in the Valley and get the Falcons a berth in the EBAL playoffs.
OK, it's against San Ramon Valley this Friday night -- one of the best teams in Northern California -- but it is still a spot.
Overall, the team was three wins better this year, but even in the losses, they were playing better. Several times the Falcons scored over 50 points, a total that just wasn't attainable in the past. They even split games with rival Amador Valley, which in recent years has been a rivalry in name only.
So, what was the difference?
"Well, we got Beti back and that made a big difference," Foothill coach Cheryl Namoca said.
Namoca was drawing reference to junior guard Beti Terpstra, who missed all last year with an injury. Terpstra is a knock-down shooter, regularly capable of scoring 20-30 points any night.
Namoca also got freshman Sophie Nguyen to take over the point guard, freeing up senior Avamarie Perry to get involved in the offense in more natural ways.
Of course, the Falcons also had 6-foot junior Riley Young to control the middle.
"With Riley back again, we had strength in the middle, had an outside shooter and had a point guard that let us make Ava not have to do everything."
After watching the Falcons, the last few years as their announcer, even though they were getting beat regularly, their effort never waned and with the strongest team Foothill has put on the court in some time, the results began to show.
Of course, I retired from announcing before the season -- hey wait, maybe that was the key!
Being serious, there is plenty to build with for another good season next year.
"With Riley and Beti both back for their senior years and Sophia running the point, we can be even better," Namoca said.
For a program that has been suffering through recent years but has always optimized their work ethic, it's a welcome site.
Amador girls' basketball
The Dons outscored Foothill 16-6 in the third quarter to break open a close game at halftime, then held on the 42-39 win in the final game of the EBAL season.
The Falcons led 20-18 at the break, but the Dons stormed back to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter. Foothill countered with a 13-8 fourth quarter, but the Dons dug in and held on for the win.
Addison Leomiti had a great game for the Dons with 28 points, hitting three 3-pointers.
Anika Kaushik and Ellie White had four points apiece, with Megan Hoang and Emma Baer adding three points each.
Foothill got 12 from Riley Young and 11 from Savannah Montini to lead the Falcons attack. Beti Terpstra and Sophie Nguyen had eight points each.
Foothill boys' soccer
The nice little run of the late season continued for the Falcons as they picked up another two wins last week.
The week started with a 1-0 win over Granada, with the goal coming from Anthony Bonev.
Two days later the Falcons knocked off Dublin 2-1. Bonev got the first goal off an assist from Jensen McMillan. What turned out to be the winning goal then came from Dylan Russo.
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]
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