Falcons advance to region semifinals with victory over Green Hornets

Jared Patton

WOODSTOCK — Central used a run late in the second period to pull away for a big win on Tuesday night.

The Falcons moved within one victory of a Class 2 state berth with an 84-65 win over Wilson Memorial in the Region 2B quarterfinals.

“We played Central basketball,” Central senior Bryan Davis said. “We were playing good defense, taking charges, making our shots, like usual. Don’t get me wrong. They’re a very good team, a very competitive team. It reminded me of when we played Strasburg (on Feb. 8) for senior night. It was just intense, amazing. I don’t know many teams that can beat us when we play that well.”

Davis said he believes Tuesday’s game and the Feb. 8 Strasburg game were the two-best defensive performances his team has had this season.

The Falcons (22-3) trailed 19-18 after the first period but turned up the defense in the second quarter. The Falcons outscored the Green Hornets, 27-12, to take a 45-31 lead at the half.

Bryan Davis

Central’s Jared Patton and Sam Shifflett combined for three 3-pointers to end the half and give the Falcons plenty of momentum.

“I think when I hit my first one and (Shifflett) hit his we were just kind of hype,” Patton said. “Usually when Sam (Shifflett) hits one in that kind of situation he ain’t missing again.”

The Falcons stretched the lead to 51-33 with 6:50 left in the third period on another 3-pointer by Patton and led by at least 14 points the rest of the way.

Central coach Jeff Whittle said he was pleased with how his team performed.

“Overall, I was just very pleased with everyone’s effort,” Whittle said. “The bench was into the game and everyone was pulling for one another. And that’s what needs to happen in a big playoff game. That’s what we’ve gotten all year long, was just playing as a team.”

Wilson Memorial’s Greg Woodard had a game-high 28 points.

The Falcons had five players in double-figures led by Patton’s 23 points and five assists. Davis had 20 points, and Luke Estep had 14 points, five assists, and eight rebounds. Varsey Bright had 13 points and Shifflett had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Falcons.

Central hit 11 3-pointers in the game. Davis, a forward, said once the Falcons started knocking down some 3-pointers that it opened things up inside for the post players.

“When we start hitting some 3’s that’s when we know it’s going to be a good night,” Davis said. “Because once we start hitting 3’s, they put it in the post for us and the post men go to work. And once we start clicking (inside and outside) that’s pretty hard to stop because we go in and out.”

The Falcons host Bull Run District rival George Mason on Friday in the Region 2B semifinals with a state berth on the line. The Falcons are looking for their first state tournament berth since 1999.

The Falcons beat the Mustangs in their two previous meetings, and Patton said he knows it will be another tough game.

“I know it’s going to be hard to beat them a third time,” Patton said. “It’s always hard to beat a team three times, but I feel like as long as we play our game we should be fine.”