DACULA - One of Dacula's best players in boys basketball history got his first look at what could be one the best teams the Falcons have had in recent years.
Billy Humphrey, a 2005 Dacula graduate and current junior guard at UGA, had his number retired Saturday night in a ceremony between the girls and boys games and his alma mater responded with a 71-55 win over Mill Creek.
The Dacula girls weren't so fortunate as Mill Creek came out on top 52-26, setting the stage for the boys to even the score on the night.
The ceremony only added to the atmosphere as the rivalry between the two schools brought out spirit on both sides. The Dacula student section dressed in all white, including white wigs and face paint, to express their intent at a "white out" while both sections continually chanted taunts at each other.
"We expected it to be emotional tonight and I gave them that talk before we even played," Dacula head coach Justin Grant said. "I thought Mill Creek played a heck of a game and pressured us all night. We hit some big shots and I was pleased with the way our guys played."
Four Dacula players overcame the crowd's intensity to score in double-digits, led by 19 points from Brian Cole. Cole also had a good night on the boards by grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking three shots.
Cole's presence on defense inside, along with Trent Kammerer (six rebounds, five points) helped keep Mill Creek (0-4) from getting into a rhythm on offense while helping the Falcons (5-0) to a decided 29-13 advantage in rebounds.
Dacula got off to a good start and led 19-10 after the first quarter. Justin Rush, who finished with 18 points for the Falcons, scored half of those in the opening quarter.
However, Mill Creek bounced back in the second quarter. Travis Bollier, who finished with nine points for the Hawks, hit two 3-pointers in the second to help cut the score to 35-28 at the half.
The third quarter proved to be the difference as Dacula went on a 10-0 run midway in the period to pull ahead 50-34. Kammerer scored five of his 12 points in the third while Clay Wages, who ended the night with 13 points, buried one of his three 3-pointers.
The night for Mill Creek was its best offensive output of the season but still couldn't find an a way to stop Cole and Rush. The Hawks, led by 21 points from Zach Landis, shot well from the perimeter by hitting nine 3-pointers.
"Tonight was definitely a milestone for me," said Humphrey, whose number 21 jersey will hang near the top of the gymnasium's stairwell. "I got butterflies in my stomach when I stepped out there. Having Coach Grant out there with me brought back a lot of memories and I just felt a lot of love out there."
Some of Humphrey's accolades at Dacula include most points in a single season (820), highest single-season scoring average (30.4) and a 50-point game against Mill Creek, which he followed with a 59-point outburst against South Forsyth. He currently averages 14.2 points per game for the Bulldogs.
The only blemish on the night occurred in the closing seconds of the boys game when Kammerer was intentionally fouled by Bollier. The short-lived ruckus afterwards led to the ejection of Cole and Landis, who will have to serve a two-game suspension.
Mill Creek's girls kept their winning ways going with a 52-26 win. The win extended the third-ranked Hawks to 6-0 while Dacula fell to 2-3.
Porsha Porter of Mill Creek led all scorers with 19 points, the night's only player in double-figures. Abbie Daniel scored eight to lead Dacula.
Mill Creek's defense played exceptionally well, holding Dacula to no more than nine points in one quarter.