Darby celebrates the Senior Boys Basketball Players and Cheerleaders
On February 2nd, the Darby Boys Basketball program celebrated their senior’s final season in the program. Before the game, against the Dublin Jerome Celtics, three senior
cheerleaders and six boys basketball seniors were escorted across the gym by their family.
Meade Akers, Paige Bergefurd, and Kayla Hornish were celebrated for their final season of Darby Cheer, while the senior basketball players included Chandler Barlow, Ben Gbur, Jack Gearhiser, Josh Govine, Brice Stultz, and Colton Wood.
Following the pre-game Senior Night festivities, the Panthers got ready to take on the Dublin Jerome Celtics. Darby came out on top in the team’s first meetup earlier this season, and were hopeful to have a repeat success.
The Panthers had a slow start to the game after losing the tip and giving Jerome the first basket of the game. The Celtics’ aggressive press took some getting died and forced a couple turnovers in the beginning, but the Panthers eventually figured it out and settled
into their game.
Towards the end of the first quarter Darby found their footing and things started looking up.
Josh Govine drove into the paint, but then kicked the ball back out to Ben Gbur, who swished his first three of the night.
The outside shooting for the Panther’s continued to be strong with Josh Govine, Chandler Barlow, and Junior Kyle Miller all sinking threes in the first quarter.
Despite the strong end to the first eight minutes of play, the Panthers were still down 20-15 going into the second quarter.
The boys team started the quarter with a new energy, playing aggressive defense. After a huge block by Gbur, the Celtics swatted at the ball, hitting Gbur’s arm. The refs called the foul and after the Jerome player complained about the call, the ref gave him a technical and Barlow headed to the free throw line to shoot for the Panthers. Capitalizing on the opportunity, Barlow made both shots.
In the following play, yet another three fell for the Panthers, this one shot by Miller. Jerome called a timeout after the play, and Darby fans were on their feet celebrating the turnaround success of the team.
However, after the timeout the boys started to lose their edge and headed to the locker room at halftime down by seven, with a score of 30-23.
The Panthers came into the second half ready to go.
On an inbound play, early in the quarter, the Panther’s quick movement with the ball left Gbur wide open at the top of the arc, scoring three more points for the black and blue.
Junior Jaeln Benjamin also had a great three point play, as he drives to the hoop, making the shot and drawing the foul. Benjamin then made his free throw, adding another three points to the Panther’s total.
Despite the ferocity with which the boys played, they were unable to take the lead at the end of the third quarter, with Jerome up 45-43 to start the fourth.
The fourth quarter was full of excitement as the Panthers battled back against the Celtics.
Barlow continued to sink threes, while the team had a great percentage from the free throw line during the fourth quarter. Despite the whole team giving it their all, Darby was unable to take the lead and the Panther’s fell to the Celtics, 62-58.
Gearhiser shared his thoughts on the game and the season. He expressed his disappointment in losing, but it was still great to celebrate with his teammates. Gearhiser also felt the program has greatly impacted his life.
“The coaches have been great and have made a point to us that basketball is just a game and they are trying to make us better people and I’m happy to say I have learned and improved myself a lot because of them,” shared Gearhiser, who is studying Finance at
OSU next year.
The six seniors in the program have led their team through the season well, having one of the best records that Darby Boys basketball has had in awhile. All of the guys have bright futures and everyone at Darby is excited to see what they do next.
Although Senior Night may be over, the Panther’s season is not. The boys have four more regular season games, and their next and final home game will be February 13th at 6:00 pm, when the team will take on the Bradley Jaguars.