Lady Falcons almost scores first region victory, come up short in overtimeBy Drake Horton
There just was not quite enough gas in the tank.
In what may have been one the best games of the season for the Darlington Lady Falcons, it just did not have the finish that every Falcon fan wanted as the Manning Lady Monarchs came out victorious, winning 66-63 in overtime.
“They hustled, I felt like they put it out there,” Darlington girls head coach Frances Fields said on her team’s effort. “Now the lesson is learning how to keep control, keep fighting.”
Down 43-31 in the third quarter, the Lady Falcons went on a 13-0 run that ran into the fourth quarter, giving Darlington a 44-43 lead at the 4:51 mark in the fourth quarter.
It was not just the Lady Falcons offense doing work though; Darlington’s defense was just as impressive during that second half run, holding Manning scoreless in the fourth quarter until the 4:21 mark. By then, though, it had become a game and Darlington had every intention of getting its first region win of the year against the Lady Monarchs.
After going back and forth with each other for the final four minutes of the game, Manning held a two-point lead with just six seconds left in the game, but the Lady Falcons were not to be deterred. Instead, senior Deja Turner took control getting fouled and hitting both of her free throws with just 5.2 seconds left to tie the game at 53, sending the game to overtime.
“I knew that we had been working hard and I had to bring my team up,” Turner said, going back to what was going through her head during that pressure pack situation. “Being the starting point guard, that’s my job, so I had to make sure I did that.”
Overtime started off as a back and forth contest as both teams traded baskets, but with Darlington up 60-57, the Lady Monarchs went on a 9-0 run and it was just too much for the Lady Falcons to overcome.
Helping Darlington get back in the game and be able to compete was NyAsia Taylor, who led the Lady Falcons in scoring with 21 and LaDaysha Bonaparte, who was second in scoring with 17.
“I think me and my teammates pushed through even though the score was getting more and more, all of us worked together to do our best,” Taylor said on the effort not only from her, but from the rest of the team. “I think we did a good job tonight actually.”
Still despite the loss, the game showed the continued growth of the Lady Falcons basketball under Fields as head coach. When she took over the job one of the major goals she wanted to do was change the culture and instill the desire to keep competing no matter the score or situation.
“They wanted to win,” Fields said on what is leading her to believe that the culture is changing. “I think that is what has been the missing point so far is to actually want to win and you actually seen that tonight, they didn’t give up.”
This game was a prime example of that teaching being put into effect.