By Matthew Yoder
The Arcadia Firebirds shot lights out from behind the 3-point line en route to an 81-52 win at home against Chincoteague Tuesday night. The game opened under rare circumstances, with the Firebirds being assessed a technical foul for attempting dunks while warming up. Brandon Bundick converted two free throws for the Ponies, but from there the Firebirds asserted their will on offense against the zone, making six 3-point baskets in the first quarter. Four of those came from William Scarborough. Whether assisted by Lethon Williams, or spotting up against his defender, Scarborough punished Chincoteague with tremendous accuracy.
The teams played through few whistles in the first quarter at a rapid pace, but for every layup Chincoteague made in transition it was immediately matched by Arcadia behind the arc. Kylen Wharton and Williams added 3-pointers for the Firebirds, who ended the quarter with an 18-point lead.
Arcadia head coach Rodney Armstrong relied largely on the play of his bench in the second quarter. The teams traded scores early. Thomas Pitts drove coast to coast, scoring for Chincoteague, and was supplanted on a hustle layup by Arcadia’s Markell Williams.
The Ponies made a mini-run with scores from Giovanni Rosanova, a spot up 3 from Pitts, and a layup from Brendon Lafayette. The Firebirds never look rattled. Dajuan Bailey, Tiair Bibbins, and Bobby Harmon remained composed and provided solid minutes for the Firebirds. Against strictly Arcadia’s reserves, Chincoteague closed a bit nearer, to within 13 points at the half.
The third quarter supplied the same gasped effect in the stands after Scarborough entertained with déjà vu. He shot the ball confidently from considerable distances behind the arc, ending the quarter with four more 3-point baskets. He was aided by a strong post presence from Keith Grinnage. The Firebirds’ energy rebounding the ball, as well as strong hustle play from Wharton to keep plays alive for Scarborough, helped extend the lead to 22 by the close of the quarter. It can’t be understated the effect that Scarborough’s shot had on the game. His precision eliminated any opportunity for Chincoteague to switch the momentum.
Armstrong inserted his bench in the fourth quarter and never lost ground to close. The Firebirds finished the game with four players contributing double figures in points. Scarborough led with 24, Bibbins had 13, with Bailey and Lethon Williams adding 12 each.
Chincoteague was paced by three in double figures. Pitts led with 12, Bundick finished with 11, and Ayden Leonard posted 10.
Arcadia remains undefeated on the season, while Chincoteague suffered losses on consecutive nights to speedier teams with dynamic offenses.
In JV play, Arcadia bettered Chincoteague 58-36. The Ponies had an opportunity to set the pace early, but failed to convert on good looks. The Firebirds, too, played sloppy at times but used their athleticism on defense to create separation. Anthony Taylor ended the game high scorer, with 16 points, and Kevin Cropper added 15 in limited minutes for Arcadia. Randy Lewis led the Ponies with 13 points.