Clutch shots and impressive size leads Lady Falcons to victory
By Drake Horton, Contributing Writer
The Frances Fields era got off to a great start this past Monday when the Darlington Lady Falcons defeated the West Florence Lady Knights 53-49 in the Falcons Nest.
Fields, who is starting her first year as head coach at Darlington after a two-year stint as head coach at Lakewood, was very pleased with her team and how they performed in such pressured situations.
“They got it done as a team and that is what I keep harping to them,” Fields said after the game. “If we play together as a team great things will happen and I felt like everybody knew their role and went out there and got that win for this team.”
Up by just two at half, Darlington gained control of the game in the third quarter, closing the period out on a 12-1 run that put the Lady Falcons up 38-29.
West Florence did not fold, however, and battled right back into the game, but it was Darlington’s ability to handle pressure that proved to be the difference.
“We practice in practice to just relax,” Fields said on hers team composure late in the game. “I’m always encouraging them, especially when we are playing because they are always looking at me like ‘coach did I make a bad pass, did I do this coach’ so I’m always encouraging them and I feel like they never let down even if they miss a shot or miss the layup or even miss the free throw they got back at it and focused.”
And who was that difference maker in the late moment of the game? It was Deja Turner, a returning guard from last year’s team, who ended up making four critical free throws with less than a minute to go in the game, to ice away the victory for the Falcons.
“I just knew that we had to pull it out we were working hard all game,” Turner said on the win. “We work hard for this we just have to keep fighting and I had to come through for my team and make those shots.”
Darlington’s leading scorer was Hope Richardson, who finished with 13 points all while standing as one of the tallest girls on the court as well and it was that height to go along with her athleticism that gave West Florence a lot of problems.
“We did a good job,” Richardson said, commenting on the game and her performance. “I’m stepping up more, I’m improving and I think it will help the team more.”
Richardson, who is a sophomore, is the only six-footer that Fields has on her roster, however. To go along with her, Fields has freshman LaQueena Dubose, who is also six foot tall. She finished the night second in scoring with 10 points.
And if two was not enough, Fields has her third six-footer in junior LaDaysha Bonaparte. It was that size and length to along with the clutch guard play by Turner that was just too much for West Florence to overcome.
The Lady Falcons played in two other games this week with both being on the road.
The first came against the Lamar Lady Silver Foxes; Darlington was victorious, winning 69-25. The Lady Falcons controlled the entire, especially in the fourth quarter, outscoring Lamar 34-8.
It was a reversal of fortune on Friday as Darlington dropped its first game of the year, a 91-40 at the hands of the Lady Tigers of Wilson.
The Lady Falcons face South Florence on Dec. 9, and Wilson on Dec. 11, both at home.