Tigers ousted by Dora in Regional semifinal, 65-49Published 6:55pm Friday, February 21, 2014
The Dadeville Tigers’s hit a dead-end on the road to Birmingham, losing to the Bulldogs of Dora High School 65-49 in a Class 4A Central Regional game.
With the defeat, the Tigers’ season ends at 15-8.
“These kids represented our school and our community very well,” said DHS basketball coach Rodney Taylor. “I’m so proud of my players.”
Dora flew out of the gate on the Tigers, scoring the game’s first 10 points.
From that point, the Tigers had to play catch-up.
Taylor said the opening run wasn’t the sole downfall of Dadeville in the game, as the Tigers had come back from greater deficits before.
The problem, Taylor said, was that every charge the Tigers made, Dora answered on the offensive end.
“We’ve been down 22-8, we’ve been down 27-11,” he said. “I think that (early deficit) was part of it, but every time we made a run, they’d make a little run, and once they had the lead, it was hard for us to come back. We shot the ball okay, but we didn’t shoot it extremely well, and we missed a lot of easy shots around the basket.”
The Tigers out-scored the Bulldogs 11-7 following that opening jolt of offense from Dora to go into the second quarter down 17-11.
In the second quarter, the Tigers continued to struggled to gain their footing, as foul trouble forced Dadeville out of its comfort zone.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs cashed in when the openings presented itself, putting together an 11-3 run to go up by as many as 14.
Anfernee and Shawn Jennings each had three fouls by the half, and D.J. Black was whistled for two fouls during Dora’s opening ambush.
Eventually, the Jennings brothers ended up fouling out of the game, as the foul trouble never allowed the Tigers’ inside offensive presence to establish itself.
“That hurt our rotations,” Taylor said of the foul trouble. “When you try to adjust to different defenses, and you lose your rotation, that hurts. It was just a lot of things that didn’t go right for us.”
The Tigers showed some life in the third, getting the deficit to within six, but Dora’s Kelan Bell opened up, pouring in 11 points in the third quarter alone to help the Bulldogs keep the Tigers at bay.
Meanwhile, Dadeville continued to struggle to find its footing, and when it did, the moments of consistency were few and far between
“We never seemed to have a rhythm all day” Taylor said. “In spurts, we’d make a play here or a play there, but it wasn’t extensive enough for a long period of time, especially not long enough for us to come back.”
Taylor said in the end, it came down to Dora making the most of its chances, while the Tigers could not.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, to be honest with you. There was a lot of busted stuff out there, and they made more plays out of the busted plays than we did,” Taylor said. “I guess you could say they out-uglied us and found a way to win. We battled until the end, but we couldn’t put stuff together.”
Malik Tolbert led the Tigers with 10 points.
Jay Foster added nine points, and C.J. Tolber netted eight points.
For Dora, the high point man was Kenton Pettis, who scored 20 points. Bell added 19 points, with 15 of them coming from the three-point line.