Dacula’s Cam Moye (15) battles for a rebound with Grayson’s Trevian Sconiers (24) during the second half of Tuesday’s game at Dacula. (Photo: Kyle Hess)
DACULA — Keshawn Gibbs only knew the story of last year’s region opener with Grayson.
The story of the last-second loss was relayed enough times for the junior guard to know he didn’t want that to happen again.
He made sure it didn’t.
Gibbs led all scorers with 19 points and added 10 rebounds against an aggressive Grayson team, leading the Falcons to a 65-49 win in its Region 8-AAAAAA opener. The win keeps the Falcons unbeaten on the season and delivered the first loss to the Rams.
“In this league we’ll take every region win we can get,” Dacula coach Russ Triaga said. “I am happy for the win, I am happy that we grinded it out.”
The game opened with both teams finding plenty of space driving to the basket. The Rams Cam Boax scored all eight of his points around the rim and Gibbs just kept driving and driving.
“I just wanted to attack the basket,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs hit three of his five field goals in the first quarter because the Rams started playing more aggressive against the broad-shouldered Gibbs.
Dacula found a sliver of momentum near the end of an even and defense-lacking first quarter. The Falcons scored the final four points, getting some production off its bench with a late put-back by Logan MacIntyre. That four points turned into a 10-2 run midway through the second quarter with Dacula building a 27-17 lead over Grayson.
The Rams found a little offense in the quarter with a pair of 3s from Marquise Lanier, but struggled for consistency against the changing Dacula defenses. The Falcons weren’t much more effective, but did enough damage from the free-throw line, hitting 9 of 10 and taking a 38-29 lead into the locker room. Gibbs scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half, making all four of his free throws.
The lead stayed around 10 points for the rest of the game. Grayson opened the third quarter with a quick three points from Lanier to come within six, but Zentavious Cobb, who ended the game with 15 points, hit a pair of baskets and it was Gibbs again with a 3-pointer to push the Falcons’ lead to 48-36.
“He knows what it takes to be successful,” Triaga said of Gibbs, who was 8 of 12 from the free throw line once the Rams defense closed off his attacks toward the rim. He was a perfect 6 of 6 before missing a pair and a lane violation cost him another made free throw. “I am just pleased with the game he played.”
“I was mad about (missing those two),” Gibbs said. “I am just glad we came out and got the win.”
Lanier led the Rams with 18 points, hitting three 3-pointers. Both teams played plenty of players. Eight players scored for Grayson and six for the Falcons. Cam Moye, who missed part of the second quarter after taking a hard charge, scored 12 points and Kevon Tucker scored eight.
“We talked about that before the game that we needed to score consistently,” Triaga said. “I feel like we can play nine (players).
“That’s what we need to be.”
MOBILE USERS: Click here to view photo gallery.
Dacula girls 47, Grayson 34
Faustine Aifuwa scored six of her 11 points in the third quarter as the Dacula girls pulled away from Grayson for a 47-34 win.
The Falcons led 20-14 at the half, but outscored Grayson 17-10 in the third quarter, building a 37-24 the Rams couldn’t overcome. Star Toomey scored three of her nine points in the third quarter for the Falcons.
Aifuwa added 13 rebounds and 10 blocks for the Falcons (4-1, 1-0).
Dacula’s Jonnae Johnson had nine points and Shelby Reaves had seven points.
Lika Bah led the Rams with nine points and Emari Crenshaw followed with seven, six of her points coming in the third quarter to slightly temper Dacula’s run.