Falcons topple Wayzata, start 2-0

Armstrong sophomore Evan Nolan fends off a Wayzata defender during the Falcons 76-67 victory over the Trojans Dec. 8 at Minnetonka High School. The win was Armstrong’s second straight to start the season. (Photo by Nick Clark – Sun Newspapers)

The gym situated just a few short paces away was overflowing with fans, but Armstrong didn’t care one bit.

The Falcons appearance in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic Dec. 8 at Minnetonka wasn’t about fanfare, or any other sort of attention grabber.

That much was left for the Park Center and Apple Valley showdown across the hall.

For Armstrong, this was about redemption. Not for any particular loss, but for the each of the 21 the team endured during difficult 2011-12 season.

And frankly, they could care less who was watching.

“Not at all,” said head coach Greg Miller. “I would probably have gone and watched that other game as well. But I tell you what, people might want to come check us out pretty soon, because I think we can be pretty good.”

The Falcons have been just that so far, as they opened the season last week by beating Andover 69-54 Dec. 6 before moving to 2-0 with an impressive looking 76-67 victory over eighth-ranked Wayzata Dec. 8 at Minnetonka High School.

“What I’ve been happy about is we are playing really good team basketball, and we are defending really well,” said Miller. “We play 10 guys, and no matter who is out there, they’ve really played together.”

Eight different guys recorded a point in the victory over Wayzata.

Konner Goettsche led the way with 21 points. J.J. Morris had 14, Nick O’Hara 12 and Cyrus Moore-Brown 10.

Moore-Brown’s contribution turned out to be the difference, Miller said.

Armstrong trailed by a point at the half, but pulled away after Miller called for a high pick-and-roll that resulted in six quick points for the Falcons guard.

“It was a close game, and we went high pick-and-roll with Cyrus Moore-Brown and he got it to the basket three or four times in a row, and it kind of broke the game open,” Miller said. “And then Jerome Dixon hit a couple three’s that were huge too, and that was kind of it.”

The Falcons now turn their attention this week back to the Northwest Suburban Conference, which had an impressive day Dec. 8 during the Tip-Off Classic.

Defending state champion Osseo topped Eastview. Seventh-rated Park Center upset No. 1 Apple Valley, and the Falcons took out No. 8 Wayzata.

Armstrong gets Park Center this week – the two teams played Dec. 11 – and then hosts Champlin Park at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

“You can make a strong case that this is the best conference in the state,” Miller said. “And I think you saw why today.”