Dadeville drops final, 63-59Published 8:04am Wednesday, January 2, 2013
By Ed Bailey
Thanks to missed opportunities at the free-throw line and an untimely foul-out, the Dadeville Tigers boys basketball team lost a 63-59 heartbreaker to the Bulldogs of LaFayette High School to finish second in its after-Christmas tournament.
The loss drops Dadeville to 8-5 on the year.
Senior guard Terry Toler led the Tigers with 20 points. Nicholas Tolbert scored 15 points on five long-balls and Tomas Foster added 10 points.
Rauazious Boyd led the Bulldogs with 21 points.
“We didn’t play our best game, so you have to give LaFayette credit,” Dadevile boys basketball coach Rodney Taylor said. “When teams get a little physical with us, we struggle. I thought we battled back in the second half. We had some opportunities but we couldn’t make plays down the stretch.”
In the final stanza, the Tigers were unable to cash in on their free-throw advantage. Toler fouled out with 1:50 to go and the combination of the two cost Dadevile in the end.
“When you lose a key player late in the game it hurts, but even without him we had chances to win,” Taylor said. “We made some shots and made some plays but we didn’t make enough of them. We’ve struggled from the line all year and it’s something we’ve got to keep working on and try to improve.”
The Tigers would threaten often, as they got within four numerous times during the fourth and got the deficit down to two with 3:31 left in the game.
Tolbert hit three of his five threes in the final quarter but every time Dadeville tried to close the gap during the second half, LaFayette would answer, usually through Boyd.
Boyd sparked an 11-2 run for the Bulldogs in the third which stole momentum from Dadeville, as they increased their lead to ten.
A jumper from Anfernee Jennings, followed by two threes from Tolbert cut the deficit to five. A three-point play from Toler keyed a 8-2 run for Dadeville as they ended the quarter down two.
Boyd ultimately ended up putting LaFayette High School ahead for good by hitting a three that bounced off the top of the backboard with 2:33 left in the game.
Taylor said that the game against the Bulldogs will help his team as they head into 2013.
“This is why we play teams like LaFayette, it’s all about good competition and trying to get better,” he said.
Defense dominated the early portions of the second stanza until a three-pointer from Jessie Foster increased the Tigers’ lead to five.
LHS would take the lead again as time wound down in the half, but a three-ball from Toler at the buzzer left Dadeville down 25-24 at the half.
Dadeville began the game by scoring six unanswered points. Lafayette battled back and the hotly-contested opening period ended with the Tigers up by a score of 12-11 and Toler having scored nine points, including going 5-6 from the charity stripe.
Despite the result, Taylor said he’s still confident in his team’s ability.
“The result is not what we wanted but I’m proud of my kids for fighting throughout the game,” he said. “I still think we’ve got a good basketball team. I like my team, I like my kids and we’re going to be alright. We played a good opponent and got beaten, but we’re going to keep plugging away and working on the little things, and we’re going be alright.”
Up next for Dadeville will be a trip to LaFayette as they attempt to avenge the loss.
The Tigers will tip-off against the Bulldogs next Friday.