Lady Falcons drop opening region game to Lakewood
By Drake Horton
The Darlington Lady Falcons start in region play got off on a sour note this past Friday as the Lakewood Lady Gators left Darlington with a 68-43 victory.
Down by just three at the end of the first quarter and six at half, Darlington lost ground in the third quarter as Lakewood jumped out to a 44-30 lead by the end of the quarter.
“The third quarter has been our Achilles heel all year long,” Darlington girls head coach Jabari Deas said after the game. “We seem to never have good third quarters and that got us tonight.”
In the fourth quarter, with both teams in foul trouble, Lakewood capitalized on the Lady Falcons poor free throw shooting and stretched the lead out to a 25-point victory.
“We missed a lot of free throws as a team,” Deas said, on what he considered to be one of the biggest differences in the game.
On the night, Darlington went 11-28 from the line and was never able to find any consistency on offense as the Lady Falcons top two scorers were Deena House with 15 points and Shatoya McFarland with eight.
The Lady Falcons inconsistency on offense started to show its ugly face in the second quarter when Kiana Hall’s free throw with 4:25 left before half was the first point of the quarter for Darlington. The Lady Falcons did not score their first field goal of the quarter till the 3:47 mark when McFarland scored.
But while Darlington struggled to find offense in the second quarter, it was not like the Lady Gators were lighting up the scoreboard. Just like the Lady Falcons, Lakewood had trouble finding any rhythm during the second period.
Things did not really change until the third quarter. Lakewood opened the quarter with a 7-2 run and closed the quarter with a 7-0 run, separating itself from the Lady Falcons.
“We have to be able to come out of the locker room with some speed and passion like we did the first half,” Deas said on his team’s poor third quarter performance. “It’s like we go in there, (locker room) come out and lay an egg.”
Down by 14 at the start of the fourth quarter, both teams were already in the bonus as each team had foul trouble throughout the night, but it was Lakewood that was able to capitalize and make them when it counted.
Deas is not discouraged, however, by his team dropping their first region game of the season and believes with a little hard work his team can make some serious strides at competing for the region.
“Its simple things,” Deas said on what his team needs to correct. “We have to make free throws, we have to box out defensively and we have to be a little tougher, a little nastier on ball.”
The Lady Falcons are now 6-9 overall and 0-1 in the region.
The Lady Falcons got this past week started off against the South Florence Lady Bruins at home and lost the contest 50-36.
Darlington splits the season series with South Florence, having beat the Lady Bruins in South Florence by a score 25-23 earlier this year.