by Thomas Spencer
In their 13C rematch from earlier this year, the Darby boys were eager to fend off the Victor Pirates. Besides a slow first quarter where the Tigers trailed by 4, the rest of the game was really just a slow march to victory. Darby head coach Krystal Smith said, “Ball movement, defense, and hustle are what helped us pull the win against Victor.” This seemed to be a good representation of Darby’s success against the Pirates. The Tigers did a good job of being patient in their offensive movements and took high percentage shots at the basket.
When asked what their week of practice looked like leading up to this matchup and what they anticipated, Coach Smith said, “We always know that a rival game can go any way, so our biggest advice was to keep our head in the game, play our game and hustle and work together and they definitely worked together! And with a little press the whole game we wanted to slow them down and try taking advantage of a few mistakes.”
The Tiger offense did execute and took advantage of each mistake of the night. They had four guys score over 10 points on the night, notably 14 from Preston Smith who has been solid all season, and 16 from Hooper Reed who had a great night in the post.
“We have been really pushing for the boys to take good quality shots and tonight they all did that,” said Smith. “Hooper took over attacking the key while Preston, Cully, Sawyer, Andrew, Jackson, and Nolan worked on shooting when they were open and driving to the hoop.” When asked which players really stood out she responded, “That’s a tough one, this game all of our players did a roll and did it well.”
By the end of the third quarter, this game was still very close, 32-28, but the final score was 41-60. Darby had a great fourth quarter, outscoring the Pirates 28-13. Townsend and Smith both had stellar 4th quarters, each posting 8 and Reed had 6 in that quarter.
“Until the game is over, my only thoughts are to keep putting the ball in the basket, hustle back, play hard defense, and outwork the opponent,” said Smith. “This group of boys never quit, so if we are behind or ahead, it’s not over until the buzzer rings.”