By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Senior night was extra sweet for the Del City boys basketball team.
The Eagles closed out the regular season by knocking off No. 1-ranked Carl Albert and winning the Suburban Conference championship Friday night at John Smith Fieldhouse.
Del City survived a slow start and a late push by the Titans for a 52-44 victory at home.
“We didn’t come out in the first quarter like we needed to defensively and I knew they were prepared and ready,” said coach Lenny Hatchett. “They’re a good ball club and they’re not ranked number one for nothing.”
The Eagles finished the regular season 15-5 and 6-0 in conference play.
Carl Albert took charge early with a balanced offensive attack and led nearly the entire first half. Del City shook off the rust in the second quarter and scored the final 11 points of the half. Brandon Garrison threw down a dunk in transition to give the Eagles a 23-22 halftime lead.
Del City continued to roll after the break. They opened the third with an 8-0 run. Garrison scored back-to-back baskets for a 31-22 lead.
The Titans came back to pull even in the fourth. Ryan Reynolds hit a long 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter and Hutch Russell added one to start the fourth and tie the game 35-35.
Del City quickly regained the lead and wouldn’t let go. Damarious Vealy and Garrison combined for 11 points in the fourth and the 52-44 win.
“We just had to get some stops,” Hatchett said. “We couldn’t give up second opportunities. We got real stagnant on offense. I thought we got tired too early and stopped moving the ball. When we started moving it, we got good post touches.”
Garrison paced the Eagles with 19 points and Vealy added nine points in the win.
Quincy Hopkins led the Titans with 12 points in the loss.
Carl Albert and Del City will host Class 5A regional tournaments. Del City faces McAlester at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the winner meeting up with Noble or Durant in the regional final at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Carl Albert will host Duncan at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the winner facing Guthrie or Lawton MacArthur in regional championship at 7 p.m. Saturday.