For the record, the last name of Lockport’s Jalen Falcon is pronounced “Fal-cone.”
It’s not pronounced like the fast, highflying bird of prey featured in the movie “The Falcon and the Snowman” or the nickname of Atlanta’s NFL team. But many people get it wrong.
“It doesn’t really bother me,” Falcon said. “I’ve been hearing it my whole life.”
He heard his last name over and over Friday night at Stagg.
This Falcon was a showman, scoring 24 points for the Porters in a 43-31 victory over the host Chargers in a SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover in Palos Hills.
The 6-foot-2 junior guard seemingly did it all for Lockport (12-5). He hit two 3-pointers. He hit jumpers. He even drove through the lane for baskets.
And during one drive, despite being double teamed, he hit an off-balance shot while falling. After he was fouled, he converted the free throw to complete a 3-point play.
The only thing he didn’t do against Stagg (9-8) was dunk, which he said is the favorite part of his game.
Senior guard Adam Labuda, who finished with 13 points, raved about Falcon.
“His game is fantastic,” Labuda said. “When he does his one-dribble pullup, I know it’s always going in. When he does a catch-and-shoot three, that’s always in.
“And when he gets into his post, he will do a drop-step or spin-around. It’s either going to be a foul or two points.”
In the second half, Falcon scored all eight of Lockport’s points in the third quarter and had the Porters’ first five points of the fourth. Labuda then nailed a 3-pointer with 2:09 left.
That was close to a 14-minute stretch of all Falcon, all the time.
“I knew I had most of the points,” Falcon said. “I knew I had a lot of points when I scored the first 10, but after that, I wasn’t paying attention.”
While coaches usually like a little more balance in scoring from their teams, Lockport coach Brett Hespell didn’t mind watching Falcon take over while some of his teammates had cooled off during the second half.
“He has a knack for making plays,” Hespell said of Falcon. “Some kids just have that.
“He’s also worked on his body. He’s a lot stronger this year, so he absorbs contact really well and has been able to finish. He’s really grown as a player and as a young man.”
Falcon recently took an unofficial visit to Illinois State. While he has travel basketball ahead of him in the summer to try to impress a few more college coaches, he said he will concentrate on track in the spring.
As a sophomore, he qualified for state in the long jump.
Stagg did not have a player hit double figures but welcomed back junior guard Connor Williams to the lineup after he missed the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic with an injury.
Williams helped the Chargers take a 13-4 lead before Lockport’s defense clamped down. Domas Narcevicius scored 16 points and Williams added 15 in Saturday’s 70-44 nonconference win over Hansberry (12-6).
Meanwhile, Lockport gave up just 13 points in the final 27 minutes Saturday against Stagg and came back to shut down Naperville Central 40-27.
“It all starts with our coach, and he just told us to turn it up,” Falcon said of the defense. “When we got the lead, coach said, ‘Keep your feet on their necks.’”
“They hit some threes early and we just had to get to the rotations quicker,” Labuda said of Stagg. “Once we started doing that, they really couldn’t do anything else against us.”
Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.