… But earlier, the Falcons crushed North Augusta
By Drake Horton
The Darlington Falcons crushed the North Augusta Yellow Jackets 83-68 this past Tuesday, Feb. 19, at home to advance to the 4A lower-state championship game.
Like their previous game against Brookland-Cayce, the Falcons were lethal from downtown, draining another 10 three-pointers, running the total to 26 in just two playoff games.
But while the long ball helped get Darlington the lead it was the dominance of the third quarter that solidified the victory. A 15-3 run in the first five minutes of the third quarter turned the Falcons’ 11-point lead into a 23-point lead.
“That has basically been our M.O. all year,” Darlington head coach Anthony Heilbronn said. “Teams can normally survive that first or second run, but that third run is usually the dagger.”
The first quarter for Darlington was literally a “live and die by the three” quarter as the Falcons scored 12 of their 18 in the opening period via the three-point shot.
The second quarter was more of the same when it came to offense for the Falcons, but while shots were falling, the defense was failing to recover and North Augusta finally started showing a little life with some transition offense.
Coming into the game North Augusta had a reputation as being a pretty good shooting team, but for the first three quarters the Yellow Jackets struggled mightily from the field, getting most of the offense from layup on fast breaks.
Something changed, however, in the fourth and the Yellow Jackets started finding their stroke. which brought life back into a team on the verge of getting completely run out of the gym.
Heading into the fourth quarter, North Augusta had hit only three three-pointers, but in the fourth quarter alone, the Yellow Jackets drained five and they had some momentum.
The Yellow Jackets cut the Falcons’ lead to as close as 11, but were never able to get any closer, thanks in part to the dominance of the third quarter.