Falcons’ last second heroics against Dreher give Moore her 300th career victory
A.C. Flora, in anticipation of girls basketball coach Patti Moore’s 300th career victory, had a sheet cake waiting in the wings for a postgame presentation and celebration.
However, it wasn’t until Simoy Evans’ basket with 1.7 seconds remaining after a half–court pass from Kim Roach that the Falcons could think about celebrating a 38–37 victory against rival Dreher on Dec. 18.
“I’ve been fortunate to be allowed to stay here for a long time, to have the support of the administration, to have a lot of good kids come through the program, and to have the help of a lot of good coaches,” Moore said of the milestone.
Given the finish, this milestone likely will standout in Moore’s memory.
Dreher led by five after two free throws by Gerrysha Sullivan with 4:03 to play. At that point, the Blue Devils’ defense had held the Falcons scoreless for five minutes – a span that grew to seven before ending.
However, the points by Sullivan were Dreher’s last. The Blue Devils (4–2) went 0 for 5 from the floor – all from in the lane – missed a free throw and committed eight turnovers in the closing minutes. When Dreher missed the front–end of a one–and–one with 11.7 seconds remaining, Roach collected the rebound and reached the foul line before spotting Evans and another teammate downcourt. The basket was Evans’ only points.
“We didn’t capitalize on turnovers late; we made crucial turnovers, missed open shots and missed free throws,” Dreher coach Teresa Jones said. “You can’t win when you do that.”
The finish was a far cry from the first three quarters in which Dreher looked to shoot from the perimeter and had seven players score.
“They out–rebounded us and out–hustled us,” Moore said. “I don’t think we played with a lot of intensity.”
Were it not for Roach, A.C. Flora (8–1) would have been out of the game by halftime – as opposed to trailing by two. The senior scored 16 of the Falcons’ first 17 points spanning the first 14 minutes, and the other Falcons weren’t looking to shoot.
In the second half, Jones assigned Tequila McNeal and Gerrysha Sullivan to shadow Roach whereever she went. The duo held her scoreless for nearly 14 minutes and limited her to three second– half points.
“They played very aggressively and that defense created some problems for (Flora) in the second half,” Jones said of the two seniors. “We’ve been working on our defense.”
McNeal led Dreher with 14 points, and Shakeina Smith added nine.