By Matthew Yoder
After an exhilarating week in which Arcadia separated itself from its rivals with intense wins in league play, this week promised to be much more settling with games on consecutive nights against Holly Grove and Chincoteague. Monday’s win at home against the Eagles proved to be just that, a 30-point drubbing largely played with the starters resting.
The following night’s opponent, the Ponies, had other things in mind for the Firebirds. Chincoteague gave Arcadia all they could handle, jumping to a large lead, but ultimately succumbing to a Firebirds’ team accustomed to playing from behind. The game ended with Arcadia eking out a 68-67 win in the Pony Pen, to keep its perfect season in league play intact.
Lethon Williams and Kamron Downing appeared a bit stunned by the game, but humbly gathered their thoughts for the team moving forward.
“This game was a real wake up call,” said Williams.
Arcadia head coach Rodney Armstrong, who pulled his starters after an ineffective opening quarter, then relied on these same players down the stretch, giving praise to William Scarborough, as well as Downing and Williams, as key in pulling out the win.
“It was William with his court awareness, Kamron with his defense, and Lethon with his rebounding,” said Armstrong.
The Firebirds’ contest against Holly Grove played more as an effort to secure valuable playing time for the bench as the team looks to postseason play. Scarborough hit a pair of 3- pointers in the first quarter, and Jaden Hope added a couple of physical layups as the Firebirds ran out to a 19-6 lead.
From there, most of the game was played by Arcadia’s reserves, with DaJuan Bailey, Kylen Wharton, and Markell Williams making significant contributions. Williams saw his most extensive playing time yet this season, and made the most of his efforts, defending tightly against Holly Grove’s guards, while registering a season high 12 points.
The Eagles never threatened against the Firebirds bench, but still saw two of their players notch double figures in points. Ben Cunningham played very physical basketball in the paint, gathering 10 points in the first half and 11 for the game. Zach Chaffins fought off a cold start to finish the game with 12 points, leading the Eagles.
In addition to Williams’ 12, Scarborough ended with 12 points on four 3-point baskets, and Lethon Williams secured another double-digit night with 11 points.