The Southeast Guilford Falcons defeated the Southwestern Randolph Cougars by a score of 67-57 in a huge Mid-Piedmont 3-A Conference matchup on Friday night.
Both teams entered the contest with just one loss: the Cougars with a record of (14-1) and the Falcons with a record of (13-1). The Falcons were undefeated in conference play; however, the Cougars lone loss came to Eastern Guilford in a conference matchup.
The first quarter was mainly uneventful on the offensive side. The Southeast defense held the Cougars to only three points and the Cougars defense held the Falcons to nine points in the opening frame.
The second quarter featured a milestone moment, as Southeast’s Kennedi Simmons scored her 1,000th career point on a free throw with approximately six minutes to play in the first half. Simmons was honored later in the second quarter for her achievement. The Falcons defense lapsed and let the Cougars come back in the second quarter. Southeast barely led at halftime, 25-23.
In the third quarter the Cougars were on top three separate times as the teams went back and forth before Southeast went on a 9-0 run and pulled away from Southwestern Randolph. The Cougars weren’t out of the game and trailed only by six points at the end of the third, 46-40.
The Falcons pulled away in the fourth quarter, starting the final frame on a 10-4 run, and never let their foot off the gas. The Falcons continued to get production from Simmons and Kristen Roberts who both contributed 19 points and freshman Raven Preston led all scorers, scoring 23.
Kennedi Simmons talked about how important scoring 1,000 points meant to her.
“It’s a big deal getting to 1,000 points,” Simmons said. “It shows how much work I’ve put in over the years.”
Simmons felt that the win will continue to prove that the team is legitimate.
“This win was big for us because everyone underestimated us,” she said. “Because we’re winning, everyone realizes that even though we’re smaller, we’re not as bad as they thought they would be.”
Head coach Rachel Clark emphasized the importance of Simmons’ achievement to the community and the team.
“I texted (Simmons) last night,” Clark said “One of our JV girls told one of our other coaches that she wanted to be just like Simmons. So I told her even when she feels like she’s not making a huge difference or scoring as much as she wants to that someone in the stands is watching her and she’s a hero to them, so she has to push through and keep playing her game.”
The coach talked about the challenges ahead and how she expects her team to handle them
“I expect us to keep our foot on the gas, there are so many talented teams in this conference that from here on out it’s going to be pedal to the metal.”
The Falcons play next against Page on Monday in Southeast’s Annual MLK Tournament. With the win, the Falcons improve to (14-1) and (5-0) in the Mid-Piedmont 3-A conference.
Southwestern Randolph drops to (14-2) on the season with the loss and is now (3-2) in conference play. Their next game is Tuesday at Randleman.
The Southeast Falcon men’s team dominated the visiting Southwestern Randolph Cougars on Friday night. The Falcons won by a final score of 72-42 and collected their first conference win in the process.
The Falcons started hot and Lars Nilsen scored eight of the Falcons 16 first quarter points. The Falcons held the Cougars to just seven first quarter points.
In the second quarter, Nilsen continued his hot streak, and with 5:19 to play in the first half, he was outscoring the entire Cougars team 14-12. Keanette Givens added six second quarter points and the Falcons defense struggled to shut down Cougars main shooter Tanner Ferguson. At quarter’s end the Falcons led 36-22.
Once again in the third quarter, the Falcons held the Cougars to just seven points. The score after the third was 52-29.
In the final quarter of play, Southeast continued their onslaught and outscored the Cougars 20-13. The Falcons were led in scoring by Lars Nilsen who finished with 18 points. The Cougars’ Tanner Ferguson was the leading scorer in the game finishing with 19 points, 15 coming from three-point land.
Lars Nilsen was happy with the victory and had this to say about his effort:
“I was just trying to get my team going and trying to win,” he said. “We were trying to keep the effort and tempo high.”
He believes the win will motivate the team.
“We’ve been struggling some,” Nilsen said. “There have been some bumps in the road, but I feel like this win is going to turn things around. I feel like we are going to keep on winning and keep the tempo high.”
Like Nilsen, head coach Corey Muirhead believes that this win will motivate his team.
“I feel like this game showed some maturity,” Muirhead said.
“I think the team needed this win for their mental stability, for us to take another step and start to string some wins together, and try to make a run in the standings and in the conference.”
The coach knows that focus is the key to success for the rest of the season.
“They feel good about themselves right now, and they are probably going to lose focus. Understanding the bigger picture and getting these guys to understand it as well is going to the key”
The Falcons improve to (5-10) and (1-4) in the Mid-Piedmont 3-A conference with the win. They play next in the MLK tournament on Monday at Southeast against Wesleyan Christian Academy.
Southwestern Randolph drops to (4-12) on the season with the loss tonight and are now (0-5) in the conference. Their next game is at Randleman on Wednesday.