In their final game at home this season, the O’Neal Lady Falcons put on a show for all in attendance on Saturday in their state quarterfinal showdown against Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill.
The high-pressure defense continued from Thursday night and saw the Falcons create turnovers and transition opportunities early stifling the Trinity School attack. The Falcons entered the halftime locker room with a 34-10 lead and never looked back.
“We had a quite the balanced attack this afternoon with 4 of the 8 players dressed scoring in double figures and every team member in uniform scoring. We’ve been battling injuries for the last week, and thus continue to preach the idea of ‘next man up’ philosophy. The girls have truly bought in and are celebrating each other’s successes,” shared Coach Brase.
The quarterfinal win was special in more ways than one. With the win, the Falcons close out the season undefeated on their home court (as the State Semifinal and Championship are hosted at a neutral site).
“In sports, no matter what level, protecting one’s home court is always big. Being undefeated at home is just another impressive achievement for this group!” Coach Brase shares, “but what speaks volumes about them is that they were more excited to celebrate each other during the game today, as everyone had highlight moments. These kids care about each other so much, and this chemistry is allowing them to achieve special things!”
The win moves the #2 seeded Falcons to 24-3, 12-0 on the season as they advance to next week’s NCISAA 2A Semifinal game against the #6 seeded Gaston Day School.
When asked about the match-up Coach Brase shared, “this is going to be a fun game. For me, personally, facing my alma mater in the State Semifinals is both special and a bit surreal. Last time Gaston Day School made it this far in the State Tournament, I was a player on the team. Now, I’ll be on the sideline across from them coaching against them. For me this is what I love about sports, being able to have these memories and experiences with teams that become families. It will be fun leading up, as I’m sure I’ll know many faces in the crowd from my time at GDS, but once the ball is tipped, it’s just another game of basketball and you better believe we will be there and ready to roll!”
The Falcons will tip off at 6:30 PM against Gaston Day School at Cary Academy in the NCISAA 2A Semifinals. The winner will advance to the NCISAA 2A State Championship Game Saturday, February 23 at 4:00 PM against the winner of #1 Davidson Day School vs. #4 Wayne Country Day School.
The championship game will be played on Saturday, February 23 at North Raleigh Christian School.
Feature photo: Kei Kei Love goes in for a lay up.