A big part of Dulaney's game plan on most nights is simple: get the ball to prolific scoring guard Will Darley. The Lions did just that in the Class 4A North Region first-round playoff game against Paint Branch Friday night as Darley got off 17 shots.
But the visiting Panthers limited Darley to two baskets and six points in a 65-53 victory.
Darley averages 24 points per game.
"I was told, 'You stop him, you stop them,'" Paint Branch coach Walter Hardy said. "That was our goal. Tristan (Tolliver) did a real nice job of shutting him down."
Paint Branch couldn't slow down junior guard Gavan Scanlan (21 points), but the Panthers (16-7) wasted little time in taking control.
Paint Branch jumped out to a 18-7 lead in the first six minutes as senior guard Christian Roberts sank two three-pointers during that stretch. Roberts finished with a game-high 24 points.
After leading 32-23 at halftime, Paint Branch boosted its lead to 40-26 midway through the third quarter.
Dulaney (13-8) cut the lead to nine points by the end of the period, but midway in the final quarter, the Panthers pushed the margin to 17 points — the biggest of the game.
"We were outplayed," Dulaney coach Matt Lochte said. "They came on road, had about an hour and half drive in the rain on a Friday. They came in and punched us in the teeth in our gym. You will hear no excuses from me."
Paint Branch had three other players score in double figures: Tre Galloway (12 points), Jordan Radway (11) and Tolliver (10).
Zach Hill (10), Keaton Mock Myers (6), Chris Conway (5) and Jordan Williams (5) accounted for the remainder of Dulaney's scoring.