DACULA -- Defense was the difference in this Region 8-AAAAAA boys basketball game as Dacula erased a one-point halftime deficit and eventually coasted home to a 53-39 win over Berkmar.
Trailing 16-15 at the half, Dacula continued playing great defense and hit the glass while limiting Berkmar to just 23 second-half points to take the 14-point victory over the visiting Patriots.
With the win, Dacula (5-5, 12-5) completes the regular-season sweep of Berkmar after the Falcons also won back on Nov. 30 by a similar 56-39 score.
It also marked a third straight win for Dacula after the Falcons had a one-point loss to Archer and a two-point loss at Shiloh.
"Really there was no difference in the way we played from the first half to the second half," said Dacula head coach Russ Triaga. "We just maintained what we were doing well throughout and that was playing defense. When you limit a team like that to 30-something points, you've done a great job. Just about everything (Berkmar) got, they really had to earn."
Freshman Kevon Tucker led the way for Dacula with 17 points and two rebounds.
Jaylen Williams added 15 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Falcons.
Dacula also got solid efforts from Zentavious Cobb with his nine points and 10 rebounds while Cameron Lewis had nine points, six rebounds and five blocked shots.
"I'm really proud of the way Zentavious and Cameron played tonight, especially on the defensive end," said Triaga. "They gave us a big boost defending and coming up with big plays for us."
Kip Patton had 14 points to lead Berkmar and Malcolm Hannah added 11 points.
C.J. Foster had just four points before fouling out with 3:46 to go in the game while post player Tim Rowe had only six points for the Patriots.
It looked like both teams would struggle to score for the duration of this contest as defense ruled.
Dacula trailed early at 8-2, but scored the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 9-8 lead.
Dacula maintained the advantage throughout the second quarter until Berkmar got a three-pointer from Hannah to take the one-point halftime lead.
But the second half was all Dacula as the Falcons continued to play great defense and shut down the Berkmar offensive attack.
Meanwhile, Dacula found its stride on offense and opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run to build a 26-18 lead, then held on to lead 33-28 heading to the fourth quarter.
Berkmar would pull to within three at 38-35 with 4:11 to play in the game on a putback by Foster, but Dacula regrouped and outscored the Patriots 15-6 down the stretch.
"It's tough every night in this region and I don't know if you ever get on a roll despite how many games you win in a row," said Triaga. "We beat a very good team (in Berkmar) tonight and I like the way we played. But it's a battle every game and we just have to get ready for the next one (Friday night vs. Central Gwinnett).
Berkmar 47 girls, Dacula 40
Despite scoring just two points in the third quarter, Berkmar finally pulled away for a 47-40 win over Dacula in Region 8-AAAAAA action.
Berkmar (5-5, 8-9) raced out to a 34-18 lead at halftime, but went ice cold to open the second half and watched the 16-point lead dwindle to eight at 36-28 as the fourth quarter began.
Dacula (4-6, 6-11) continued to chip away at the Berkmar lead in the final quarter as the Falcons pulled to within two at 40-38 with 3:07 remaining.
But Berkmar hit seven free throws in the final 1:36 to finally take the seven-point win.
Daijah Cooke led Berkmar with 17 points while Lea Petit had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Patriots.
Jonnae Johnson paced the Dacula attack with nine points and four steals while Anazjah Mayes had eight points and six rebounds for the Falcons.
J'Nai Owens also had eight points and Katie Daniels finished with seven points, five rebounds and five assists for Dacula.