The Dreher boys and Keenan girls basketball teams were dealt bitter playoff exit visas on Tuesday, ending fine seasons on frustrating ,“what if ..” notes.
Undefeated Darlington closed the book on a 24-4 Blue Devils campaign with a 73-71 win before a packed house at the Dreher gym. The Falcons used a balanced attack and swarming defensive tactics to deny Dreher’s Final four bid in the Class 3A state playoffs.
Darlington (24-0) received double-digit contributions from five players, and was pretty much in control of the game from the second quarter on. The Blue Devils, however, refused to quit, even when the Falcons had a 10-point lead with just 1:05 left in the fourth quarter. Dreher made things interesting by hitting some late 3-pointers, but it was not enough.
Quayshun Hawkins finished with a game high 26 points and accounted for seven of Dreher’s 13 field goals from 3-point land. Chris Brown added 15 to the cause and Derrick Halback chipped in 11.
The Keenan girls faced a similar situation in their Class 2A quarterfinal game in Greenville against Southside. The host Tigers built a 34-21 lead by halftime and had a seemingly comfortable 63-54 advantage with 2:14 to go in the game before the Raiders made things interesting with a late charge.
The Raiders, who finished 18-7, cut the deficit to 67-64 on a score by Kiera Robinson with nine seconds remaining, and got the ball back on a Southside turnover. Jacolby Brown muscled her way inside for another score but the tally came as time expired.
Jasmine Franklin rang up 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, and teammate McKenzie Weston fired in 17 points.