Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Falcons partying like it’s 2007 to the Lower State Championship game




A 57-24 win in the girls 4A quarterfinals is sending the A.C. Flora Falcons to only its second semifinal in program history. The first was an Upper State Championship appearance in 2007.

“It’s huge,” A.C. Flora head coach Jacob Thompson said. “The last time we hosted a third round game was in 2008. The girls bought in last year. We had them playing defense. The question was could they turn it up a notch and they have, especially over the last four weeks.”

Thompson is only in his second year leading the Falcons, coming over from Airport High School. His goal for the program from the get-go was to play in the Final Four. Last year A.C. Flora made it to the 4A quarterfinals. This year, the Falcons have taken the next step.

While the team saw positive results last season, the 55-49 loss at Catawba Ridge has been a driving force for this year’s squad. In addition to that, A.C. Flora welcomed back Trinity Delaney, who missed last season due to injury.

Delaney and Terriana Gray have been the two consistent scorers for the Falcons this season. However, it’s been more than just a two woman show. On any given night, A.C. Flora can get scoring from Skylar McCray, Tamira Delaney, Jaclyn Wright-Thompson, Laura Darby, Emory Curnell, or Jazmine McDonald-Craft, which makes the Falcons a dangerous team to face.

Now A.C. Flora shifts its focus to a familiar foe in the Lower State Finals, the Westwood Redhawks. The Falcons fell at Westwood by 16 on January 6 and by nine at home on January 27. Even in those losses, there was plenty for Thompson to learn from.

“In the first game we let them make a run and didn’t fight back,” Thompson said. “In the second game we showed we can fight back. Hopefully in game three we won’t have to fight back.”

A.C. Flora’s pressing defense has been a major factor in its success since the last Redhawks’ meeting. The Falcons have held five of their last seven opponents to 36 points or less.

A trip to the girls 4A State Championship game is on the line for A.C. Flora. A win would give the Falcons an opportunity to win that first state championship in program history.

“It would be huge for the girls, especially being able to show how good they are,” Thompson said.

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