Lady Tigers’ comeback falls short vs. AuburnPublished 6:43pm Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The Dadeville Lady Tigers seemed poised to head into halftime with a four-point lead over 6A adversary Auburn.
But in the final 90 seconds, things unraveled to the tune of a 10-point swing that handed Auburn a six-point advantage heading into the break.
That momentum shift ended up being the difference, as a late comeback attempt by Dadeville fell short and DHS lost 54-47 to Auburn.
Despite the setback, DHS girls basketball coach Mitch Joiner said he was more than impressed with the team’s outing.
“If there’s a such thing as a good loss, that was it,” Joiner said. “I thought it was all good, up until the final 1:30 of the first half. (Auburn) decided to deny (Janeisha) Moss the ball, and I’m telling you, our girls just threw it away. We went from up four to down six, and you can’t get down like that versus Auburn.”
Auburn eventually stretched its lead to 12 late in the third quarter, but Dadeville refused to go away, shrinking the deficit to six.
However, Auburn’s size advantage was an edge that Dadeville couldn’t overcome.
“We played them closer this year than we did last year, actually,” Joiner said. “The girls fought hard, and they didn’t give up. Hallie Cocx only scored four points, but she fought all night down there against players way bigger than her. But we ran our offense well, and everything they threw at us we handled it pretty well. The girls fought with all they had, and all I want to see is daily improvement. This was a huge improvement from what we did in Alexander City.”
What Dadeville did in Alexander City was suffer its largest loss of the season versus Benjamin Russell High School in the opening round of the Pepsi Classic.
Joiner said in spite of the less than stellar outing, the loss will bring more benefits to the team in the long run.
“We didn’t handle the pressure well,” Joiner said of DHS’ play versus BRHS. “It was the first time that the girls played a team that wouldn’t roll over on us. And let me tell you, it was a wake up call. It was like a slap in the face where you have to decide whether you’re going to quit or get up. But I feel a lot better about us after what I saw versus Auburn. I feel a lot more confident.”
Dadeville is now 5-2 on the year, and has a spotless record in area play.
Joiner said he has stressed to the team to look forward and not put too much stock in early-season losses, like the one BRHS handed DHS.
“It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish,” Joiner said. “I’ve been telling them that. You can go 20-2, but if you lose the wrong game you don’t go to Montgomery (site of the regional tournament). But you can go 2-20 and win the right game and end up there.”
DHS will have the chance to avenge its loss to the Lady Wildcats this Friday, when BRHS comes to Dadeville to face the Lady Tigers.
Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.