Johnson’s triple-double helps Darlington cruise by Manning

The Darlington High School Varsity Cheerleaders pose with the Falcon mascot at midcourt during Friday’s game.  photo by Drake Horton

The Darlington High School Varsity Cheerleaders pose with the Falcon mascot at midcourt during Friday’s game.
photo by Drake Horton

By Drake Horton
Contributing Writer

With three players scoring in double digits, including Frankie Johnson who finished the night with a triple-double, the Darlington Falcons had no trouble against Manning Monarch back on Tuesday, January 27, winning 73-53.

From start to finish Darlington was just faster, more athletic and overall more talented than the Monarchs. But, despite winning by 20 Darlington boys head coach Ken Howle was not happy with how his team played overall.

“I wasn’t too pleased with it,” Howle said following the victory. “We weren’t very good offensively at all. We had a goal that we were trying to keep them under defensively and we didn’t do too good of a job.”

Two of the biggest things that Howle did not like from his team was the fact they missed way too many easy opportunities at the basket and seemed to bail the Monarchs out when they were in trouble.

It was just one of those games we came out kind of flat,” Howle said on his team’s sloppy play. “We missed a lot of easy ones. We bailed them out too much by fouling them and putting them at the line. We probably could have held them under our goal if we hadn’t fouled them so much in the second half.”

Down by four at the end of the first quarter, Darlington took its first lead since being up 4-3 early at the 6:14 mark in the second quarter when Louis Richardson scored to put the Falcons up 21-20, forcing Manning to take a timeout.

The Falcons went into the half up by nine and never looked back. Darlington put together a 10-2 run to close out the third quarter, increasing its lead to 13 points.

Manning scored six of the last eight points in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough as the Falcons had already stretched their lead to over 20.

While Howle did not think his team was too good offensively there were some bright spots for the Falcons on that side of the ball.

First was Johnson, who finished the night with a team high 26 points, 10 assists and 10 steals.

“I didn’t even know I had that much,” Johnson said on his triple-double against Manning. “I just went out there playing. It just felt like a normal game. Coach said we had to win and we got the win. We tried to hold them to 48, but we couldn’t do it. Overall we played good tonight.”

Helping Johnson with some of the offense from the outside was fellow guard Tyriq Smith, who was second in scoring with 12 points.

“Tonight we didn’t execute very well, but we hit some big time shots,” Smith, who was responsible for some of the big three’s made in the game.

Jalian Smith was the third Falcon in double digits with 11 points. The freshman center has had a nice season, progressing each game and starting to give Darlington a legitimate big man down in the low-post.


Darlington won its other game of the week this past Friday down in Sumter against the Lakewood Gators by a score of 65-61 in thanks to a big third quarter where the Falcons outscored the Gators 18-4.
The Falcons overall record is 16-5 overall, 6-1 in the region.

The Falcons face Marlboro County on the road February 3 and Hartsville on February 6.

Author: Jana Pye

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