Defending 4A state champ South Central takes down First Flight 70-63 in season opener

Winterville, N.C. — South Central made one of the most dominant runs to the 4A state title in history last season, but this year‘s team looks a lot different from the juggernaut of last season. The Falcons graduated many key players and lost a couple to transfer, . With a new starting lineup and fresh role players off the bench, South Central will have some growing to do.

However, the Falcons got the 2019-2020 season started off on the right foot with a 70-63 over First Flight, a quality team in the 2A classification.

First Flight, after traveling 2.5 hours to be in Winterville, made South Central fight for the win all the way to the end. In the first quarter, both sides struggled scoring the bal. First Flight finished the opening frame with 10 points with help from Jordan High, who hit two threes from outside. South Central scored 11 in the quarter. South Central senior captain Isaiah Mills scored the Falcons‘ first bucket of the season but went down with a knee injury soon after.

In the second quarter, South Central outscored the Nighthawks by a point once again. South Central had four players score 15 points while First Flight had four players score 14 points.

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South Central had a 26-24 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, First Flight outplayed the Falcons. First Flight went on a 14-6 run in the first three minutes of the second half to force Chris Cherry to call a timeout down 38-32. First Flight kept its foot on the gas for the rest of the third and took a 9-point lead at one point. The Nighthawks led 50-46 after three quarters.

The Falcons saved their best basketball for the final quarter. Travon Ward, who was a key bench contributor on the state championship team, scored seven key points in the final frame. Jyquan Sheppard, Ward‘s fellow senior, had eight points in the quarter. Most impressively, South Central held First Flight to 13 points in the fourth after they took off for 26 in the previous quarter. In total, South Central outscored First Flight 24-13 when it mattered the most.

South Central freshman guard Daylin Brown led all scorers with 23 points. Senior guard Dylan Blake led First Flight with 22 points.

South Central (1-0 overall, 0-0 Eastern Carolina 3A/4A Conference) will host Bertie on Wednesday night. First Flight (0-3 overall, 0-0 Northeastern Coastal 2A Conference) is scheduled to host Cape Hatteras on Wednesday night.

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