When it comes to hustle, Brannon Clark doesn’t really require much attention from Flowery Branch’s coaches. All they have to do is take a gander at the “effort” board mounted inside the locker room, a method boys basketball coach David Sokol uses to keep track of his team’s weekly progress.
Clark’s performance Tuesday night should ensure him a spot atop that chart for another week, as the senior’s 22 points -- 12 in the first half -- paced the Falcons to a 58-37 home victory over Region 8-AAAAA opponent Walnut Grove.
As far as stats go, Clark produces across the board, Sokol said. Clark could be seen crashing the boards, creating turnovers and dishing to his teammates. He added three assists and a 3-pointer near the left corner during a 10-0 run to stretch the Falcons’ lead to 25 in the final minutes of the contest.
“Brannon is what we call a warrior,” Sokol added. “He does it all.”
Fellow senior John Mills, who scored 10 points, was the only other starter to reach double digits for the Falcons.
Sokol praised the composure of his players despite a rare week off from game action. The effects of Winter Storm Helena only stalled the Falcons (14-3, 2-2 region) from a fourth-straight win.
“I guess everybody’s in the same boat, having that many days off, thinking you’re gonna play a team and then you end up getting snowed out,” Sokol said of the last week’s weather. “It was a little bit of a concern, but we got a group that is on the same page and focused, and it’s always good when it happens to be at home too.”
The Falcons led only 21-14 at the half, but came out with an exuberance in both phases to keep the Warriors (10-7, 2-3) from reaching their stride in the third period. The Falcons held the Warriors to just a single field goal for the first five minutes of the quarter while using a 19-point scoring surge to widen the gap. Echoing blocks by Fred Jordan and Justin Quick only added to the Falcons’ overall dominance in the quarter.
Warriors’ lead scorer Jailen Robinson, who entered this matchup averaging 13 points a game, was held scoreless for two quarters and managed just five points for the contest.
“That may be, overall, our best defensive play all year, as far as switching defenses, as far as communicating, taking them out of rhythm,” Sokol added.
“We knew they had a good team once they got in rhythm in the half-court offense, would have made some problems. Once we made a point of switching our defenses to keep them off stride, they did a good job of that.”
Walnut Grove's Dashawn Smith scored eight of his team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Flowery Branch has Johnson next on the docket for a home matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
FLOWERY BRANCH GIRLS 66, WALNUT GROVE 32: Taniyah Worth’s game-high 20 points -- including 14 in the third period -- and a huge 3-point outing by Lexie Sengkhammee launched the Lady Falcons to their fourth Region 8-AAAAA win on Tuesday night.
The Lady Falcons (13-3, 4-1 region scored the first bucket of the game and never trailed. Production from Worth and Ashley Woodroffe combined for 13 of the Falcons' 18 first quarter points to establish a double-digit lead.
Flowery Branch experienced a brief lapse in the second quarter with six turnovers, but their success from the perimeter helped keep the margin in double digits before the half. The Falcons drained five 3-pointers in that stretch, with Sengkhammee accounting for four.
The Falcons went on to knock down eight 3-pointers for the contest, Sengkhammee with five.
“(Lexie) has been shooting well for us, especially at home, which is always a good thing,” said Flowery Branch girls coach Courtney Newton-Gonzalez. “I’m proud of her knocking some down tonight. Also Ashley (Woodroffe) got one, which is good. We’ve been trying to get her to shoot more. …I’m happy to see that. I’m also happy to see our defensive effort in the second half.”
Worth added a team-high six steals and four blocks and a pair of assists in the win. Caroline Wysocki (nine points) and Woodroffe (eight points) were others to lead the scoring efforts for Flowery Branch. Ky Cooper led Walnut Grove (5-12, 1-4) with 12 points.