2017-12-01 / Sports

Falcons under new leadership


A.C. Flora’s Coral Johnson A.C. Flora’s Coral Johnson For the first time in over 24 years there is a new coach patrolling the sidelines for the A.C. Flora Falcons girls’ basketball team. Coral Johnson takes over for longtime head coach Patti Moore, who stepped down in May.

Six months into his first year as A. C. Flora head coach, Johnson says the transition has gone well. He says it has been more about additional paperwork than coaching.

Johnson steps into the head role with 14 years of coaching experience. this is his second season at A.C. Flora. He was Moore‘s top assistant last season.

“Coach Moore taught me a lot,“ Johnson said. “I learned a lot from Coach Joshua Staley. We used to coach together at Orangeburg Wilkinson. It’s been a great transition from being an assistant to finally becoming a head coach. I appreciate A.C. Flora for giving me the opportunity to be a head coach.”

Johnson gets the benefit of having talented veterans Jordan Strange, McKinley Brooks- Sumpter, and Debrielle Williams to build around this season. Their experience will be even more valuable as most of the roster is filled with younger players. The other two starters are eighth grader Chasity Sessions and sophomore Kailyn Glover.

Johnson has had to deal with two key injuries as sophomore Mikayla Eargle, who was pegged for a starting role in the offseason, is recovering from an ankle injury suffered during volleyball season. Malina Butler sustained a concussion during the A.C. Flora Tip Off Tournament.

Even with the youth and injuries, the Falcons are off to a 3-1 start, the lone loss coming to Spring Valley in the tournament championship game.

“It was a good learning experience,” Johnson said. “That game helped our girls understand you have to take it quarter-by-quarter and game-by-game.”

Offensively, A.C. Flora has plenty of scoring options, led by Strange and Brooks-Sumpter.

The Lady Falcons are no sloutch on defense, giving up less than 56 points per game. The goal, according to Johnson, is to hold opponents under 35 points per game.

A tough non-region schedule, highlighted by games against White Knoll and North Augusta, will prepare A.C. Flora for a region schedule which includes Lower Richland, Dreher, and Orangeburg- Wilkinson.

Despite the challenges ahead for the Lady Falcons, Johnson’s expectations are simple.

“We have is to win every quarter, game-by- game, and be prepared when the region comes,“ Johnson said.

A.C. Flora Roster

10 Debrielle Williams
11 Laronda Quattlebaum
12 Kailyn Glover
13 McKinley Brooks-
Sumpter
14 Faith Adeojo
15 Nadia Whetstone
20 Jordan Strange
21 Tanari Little
22 Malina Butler
24 Chasity Sessions
25 Lauren Bookman
30 Claudia DuBose
31 Mikayla Eargle
32 Esha Liverman

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