Last season the A-C Valley Boys basketball team finished 15-7 in the regular season and 16-10 overall. The Falcons Qualified for D9 Playoffs and the PIAA State Playoffs. The Falcons beat Johnsonburg in D9 Class 1A quarterfinals. The Falcons hope to use that experience to propel them this season.
Top returning players include: Levi Orton (Sr., G, 22.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.3 spg, 1.1 apg, Shot 50.1 percent from the field, Preseason All-District 9 in 2021, First-team All-District 9 in 2020, 1,261 career points); Eli Penny (Sr., G, 7.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.6 spg); Tanner Merwin (Sr., G, 5.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.7 spg); Broc Weigle (Sr., F, 3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg off the bench).
The Falcons will center their offense around Sr., Forward/Guard Levi Orton, a First-team All-District 9 selection as a Jr. The Falcon standout is a Pre-season All District 9 selection this year as well. Orton is a good reason why the Falcons have started the season 4-1. Orton opened up the season with a 29 point outburst against Clarion, 23 in a win against Keystone and an efficient 33 point night against Clarion-Limestone in a 65-57 win. Ironically, he surpassed his dad, Tim Orton (1262) in the point total in a win against Portersville Christian last Friday night.
Thus far this season the Falcons have seen the point production scattered around in the first few games. Sr., Forward/Guard Broc Weigle has shown some range from the outside. Wiegle scored 14 against Clarion and he matched that in a 65-57 win over Clarion-Limestone. Against Keystone, the Falcons had five different players score. Sr., guard, Eli Penny scored 5 of his 8 points in the 4th quarter to help seal the win. Penny and Tanner Merwin will lock in the starting positions at guard.
The Falcons have also benefitted from the play of sophomores, Alex Preston, Landon Chalmers and Ryan Cooper. All three players are big, physical and athletic players who fill in the rest of the holes in the lineup with their defense, rebounding and hustle.
Head coach Tony McGarvey will push his team to play good fundamental basketball, play great defense, and disrupt the other team’s offense. ‘We will only be as good as our defense allows. Building great team chemistry will be the focal point for these players to play team-first defense, stated the second year head coach.
Due to the Covid 19 the Falcons and the coaching staff have had to deal with some setbacks but are looking forward to getting back on the court. “We have been shut down three times since the start of winter sports began. (We didn’t start until Dec. 7, weeks after some other schools and before the Governor’s order over the holidays, then a player tested positive the day after our first game on Jan 12th, where the team was in quarantine for 10 days) The school previously set me up with a Google Classroom where the coaches can communicate with the team using various methods. This team knows that each time they step on the court, they are embracing that moment, not knowing the certainty of tomorrow and being kicked out of the gym.”
As far as season goals the Falcons want to be able to simply compete and play games. “This team knows that each time they step on the court, they are embracing that moment, not knowing the certainty of tomorrow and being kicked out of the gym.
McGarvey likes the way his Falcons have responded to adversity and competed this season. “This team has the potential to be very good, but not having the off-season to figure out our strengths and weaknesses, spend time on the fundamentals that are key to the game, alongside these stoppages has set us back a bit, but the players are still learning and accepting their roles from the freshman up to the seniors.