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BASKETBALL: Home finale has mixed results for Darlington

Senior Night couldn’t have gone much better for the Darlington girls. 

With head coach Josh Hembree putting together a starting lineup that featured five of the team’s six seniors, the Lady Tigers stormed to a 78-29 victory over Excel Christian in their final regular-season home game at the Huffman Center.

The victory pushed Darlington to 14-5 overall and 7-1 in Region 6-AA/A.

Things didn’t go nearly as well for the Darlington boys.

The Tigers — who don’t have any seniors on the active roster — suffered a 72-42 loss.

In the girls game senior Terar Stewart, who recently became Darlington’s all-time leading female scorer, finished with 18 points, and fellow senior Bailey Brock had 11.

But perhaps the biggest story of the night was Sidney Stout.

The senior, who has missed much of the season with a torn ACL, returned to the court for the first time since the seventh game of the season and erupted for 15 points by knocking down five 3-pointers.

Head coach Josh Hembree estimated that Stout played only about eight or nine minutes, making her production all the more impressive.

“We didn’t know what she could do (tonight),” said Hembree, “She has practiced with us the past couple days … and to see her in the corner, knocking down shots, it’s huge for us.”

Darlington’s six seniors — Jane Campbell, Mary Grace Denson, Remy Jennings, Stewart, Stout and Brock — are a part of a core group of players that have helped Darlington post an 86-29 record since the start of the 2009-2010 season.

They are capping their careers with a memorable season that has included wins over Rome, Armuchee and Model.

Last month, the Lady Tigers won the Rome News-Tribune/Seven Hills Rotary Club Holiday Festival and earned their first Gold Ball since 1990.

In Friday’s game, they jumped out to a 25-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and led 47-18 at the half to set the tone for the lopsided win.

The boys’ game played out in the opposite manner, with the Tigers trailing 23-4 at the end of the first quarter and 38-12 at the half.

No Darlington players reached double figures in the loss.

The Darlington teams now close the regular season with five consecutive road games, beginning with a trip to Holy Innocents’ today.