It’s been a rough week for A.C. Flora.
Going into Saturday’s game in the Bojangles’ Bash, the Falcons were coming off Friday night’s overtime loss to Cardinal Newman. They had fallen to West Florence earlier in the week.
Then, before a packed crowd, Huntington Prep ran the floor and beat the Falcons 93-62 in the Ridge View High gym.
“It’s early. It’s a season,” Falcons coach Josh Staley said. “We know we had an extremely tough schedule. We didn’t run from anyone. We knew it was going to be hard because we were young at the point, and we’ve got guys that have totally different roles. We wanted to make our schedule as hard as possible, so that when the games really count, we’d be where we need to be.”
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Even so, losses can stick.
“Three losses, that’s not us,” Christian Brown said. Brown, who had 18 points to James Reese’s team-high 23 points. “We’re a better team than that, and my team knows that, too.”
Flora (3-3) never held a lead in Saturday’s game, but tried to keep pace as Chase Johnson, with 26 points and 11 rebounds, led Huntington Prep.
Huntington Prep built a 21-11 lead by the end of the first quarter, then opened the second quarter with a 15-2 run to hold a 36-13 lead.
Flora got baskets from Thomas Hollingsworth and Brown to cut into the lead and were helped by a layup and a dunk from Reese. Huntington Prep closed out the half on Keldon Johnson foul shots and a Chase Johnson putback to take a 47-25 lead into the locker room.
A.C. Flora came out in the third quarter trading shots with Huntington, winning the quarter 24-23. On Kejuan Boyce’s 3-point play at the 4:40 mark, the Falcons cut Huntington Prep’s lead to at 55-38. A.C. Flora could come no closer.
Johnson’s put-back at the buzzer gave Huntington Prep a 70-49 lead going into the fourth, and Huntington Prep put up 23 points to break Spring Valley’s tournament record for points in a game.
By that point, the game became less about Xs and Os, and more about grit, said Staley and Brown.
“Just don’t quit,” Staley said in the locker room at the half. “We’re playing in front of our city, the fans were very supportive. We just didn’t want to tap out and quit. We fought, but at that point when you get down by a team that good, it’s very hard to come back.”
Said Brown, “It wasn’t about Xs and Os, it was about grit and grind. Me and my teammates were trying to give the team sparks.”
H – Chase Johnson 26, Keldon Johnson 13, Chris Smith 13, Jon Kabongo 12, King 9, Bryant 8, Brakefield 4, Okpomo 3, Fischer 3, Rathan-Mayes 2. F – James Reese 23, Christian Brown 18, Brown 4, Thomas 4, Hollingsworth 4, Boyce 3, Dillon 2, Harper-Finney 2, Jamison 2. REC: Huntington Prep 7-2, A.C. Flora 3-3
Ben Lippen 62, Olympic 58
Four out of five Ben Lippen starters scored in double figures as the Falcons rallied past Olympic. Olympic held a 34-25 lead at the half, but the Falcons outscored Olympic 37-24 in the second.
Bryce Thompson scored 22 points, Garrison Moore and Ryan McCray both scored 11, and Will Cureton added 10 points for the Falcons. Marcus Henderson scored 16 points and Jaylan McGill added 11 for Olympic.
O – Aaron Barker 17, Marcus Henderson 16, Jaylan McGill 11, Harris 6, Joshua Banks 4, Taylor 2, Evans 2. B – Bryce Thompson 22, Garrison Moore 11, Ryan McCray 11, Will Cureton 10, Hester 4, Fautley 4. REC: Olympic 2-3, Ben Lippen 3-3
Byrnes 75, Cardinal Newman 53
Hayden Brown led all scorers with 31 points and had 11 rebounds as Byrnes dismissed Cardinal Newman. Derek Morgan added 20 points.
The Rebels cruised to a 38-29 lead at halftime and 56-37 after three quarters.
Chico Carter led the Cardinals with 16 points. Martin Brandon added 12 and Christian Jones had 11.
C – Chico Carter 16, Martin Brandon 12, Christian Jones 11, Pirie 5, Dunlap 4, Andrews 2, Reedy 2, Beadle 1. . B – Hayden Brown 31, Derek Morgan 20, Josh Moore 10, Davis 9, Wright 5. REC: Byrnes 4-1, Cardinal Newman 2-3
22 Feet Academy 81, Dutch Fork 62
22 Feet Academy blasted Dutch Fork 26-12 in the first quarter and led 41-23 at the half. Jordan Davis led all scorers with 22 points. Willie Dunbar had 10 rebounds.
22 – Daniel Sackey 20, Max Hoekstra 15, Fraley 9, Thomas 9, Cunningham 9, Tunc 8, Diarra 4, Zink 4, Girton 2, Corbit 1. D – Jordan Davis 22, Dunbar 8, Eaddy 8, Dean 7, Glover 7, Thompson 5, Williams 3, Eleazer 2. REC: Visitor 12-2, Dutch Fork 3-2
Trinity Christian (NC) 56, West Florence 42
A strong second half enabled Trinity Christian to hand West Florence its first loss of the season. Greg Gant had 11 rebounds for Trinity, and Travion McCray had 12 boards for West Florence.
T – Joey Baker 21, Josh Nickelberry 10, Jones 8, Herring 8, Gantt 8, Marshall 1. W – Sharone Wright 18, Jalen Cameron 13, McCray 6, Nero 2, Simmon 2, Perez 1. REC: Trinity Christian 7-1, West Florence 7-1
Abraham Lincoln (NY) 65, Dorman 62
Abraham Lincoln used a 25-7 scoring run in the fourth quarter to rally past Dorman, which held a 55-40 lead going into the final period. The Cavaliers’ Tae Cannon missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.
A– Donald Flores 19, Kclejuan Brown 15, Mike Reid 12, Wilson 5, Lewis 5, Rivera 4, Kondrat 2, Smith 2, Gordan 1. D – Tae Cannon 16, Tyson McClain 15, Chandler Tate 10, Myles Tate 10, Butler 6, Bryant 2, Woodruff 2, McFadden 1. REC: Abraham Lincoln 4-0, Dorman 5-2.
Miller Grove (GA) 61, Ridge View 57
Ridge View sank 10 3-pointers to account for more than half its scoring, but Miller Grove outscored the Blazers 42-18 in shooting within the lane, and 26-6 in points off transition to secure the win.
M – Naquante Hardy 26, Lorenzo Anderson 11, Clark 7, Wilson 6, Mason 5, Paige 4, Harvey 2. R – Kaiden Rice 16, Trakell Fleming 14, Josiah Coatie 12, Walyn Napper, Neal-Taylor 2, Johnson 2. REC: Miller Grove 6-2, Ridge View 1-4