Falcons stay perfect at home to advance in playoffs
By Drake Horton
Despite it being almost two weeks since Darlington last competed in a basketball game, the Falcons did not miss a beat, blowing Brookland-Cayce out to advance to the third round of the 4A playoffs.
Thanks in part to the 16 three-pointers made by the Falcons, Darlington led from start to finish, leading by as much as 34 points at one point, to wrap up a 29-point, 78-49 victory over Brookland-Cayce at home this past Saturday night.
Coming off a bye of the first round, Darlington head coach Anthony Heilbronn had some concerns that his team could be a little rusty going into the game since it been 11 days since the last basketball game.
That thought was quickly put to rest, however, in the first quarter as Darlington proceeded to make it rain in the gym with a barrage of threes. In the opening quarter alone the Falcons drained six three-points and committed only two team fouls.
“I was absolutely terrified of how we would start,” Heilbronn said. “You’re off 11 days, you don’t know what to expect, but … we came out hot and hit 16 threes. You couldn’t have asked for a better start. Kenynon (Scott) hit six in the first half alone; we saw the zone and we went green light.”
Scott was a force to be reckoned with, draining four threes in the first quarter and two in the second quarter to lead all scorers with 18 points in the game. “We knew we had to keep working, come in and get a lot of shots up and we would shoot like that,” he said.
Scott was not the only Falcon lighting it up from downtown, however. Tre’Quan Scott came off the bench, draining four threes of his own to finish the night with 12 points.
Up by 20 at the half, Darlington continued to shoot and it continued to hit those shots, draining five more threes in the third quarter to turn the Falcons’ 20-point lead to 32 heading into the final quarter.
Commanding such a large lead and with the game already in hand, Heilbronn was able to unload his bench, giving his young and upcoming players some very valuable playing time. “It’s definitely nice to get up that big, to win going away, everyone getting to play. Those two JV guys, I told them at halftime we’re going to keep this up and you’re going to be ready, go in, execute, do what you do, you’ve earned it and both ended up scoring which is awesome.”
The only time in the game that Brookland-Cayce was able to show any sign of being able to compete was during the second quarter.
During that time, the Bearcats went on a very small 6-0 run, but the Falcons countered that quickly snapping the run with five straight points of their own.
Darlington’s record improves to 23-3 overall and the Falcons are just one win away from advancing back to the lower-state championship. The Falcons were to take on North Augusta Feb. 19 at home, where Darlington is a perfect 13-0 this season.