Coach Michael Bridges' Bulldogs head to Montgomery for their Central Regional Tournament opener vs. Dadeville set for 1:30 p.m. today.
Only four Dora players — Kenton Petties, DeKari Swain, Darius Davis and Logan Roberts — were on last year's squad that opened the regional tournament with an upset win over No. 1 Dallas County before losing to Handley in the regional championship game.
Petties, the sixth-man on last year's team — leads the Bulldogs in scoring. He is averaging over 16 points a game for the season, but has improved on his numbers as the season progressed. Petties is averaging than 21 points a game over the last month.
Dora (24-7) advanced to the regional following a home win over Calera last week. Dadeville (15-7) defeated Tallassee to earn its regional berth.
Bridges said Dadeville plays a physical brand of basketball.
"They are a bunch of football guys. They are athletic and they don't shoot well from the outside," Bridges said. "They are strong and quick. If we protect the paint, that should increase our chances to be successful. We want to keep them out of the paint and make them handle the basketball. If we execute our gameplan, we should be OK."
Dora is 10-3 in its last 13 games with two of the losses coming to Class 5A Cullman.
Today's winner advances to the regional championship game set for 10:40 a.m. on Saturday. No. 5 Bibb County (26-5) plays No. 1 Dallas County (26-3) in Thursday's regional opener.
"I'm confident in our eight seniors," Bridges said. "They are motivated and ready to go. They are focused. I expect them to come out and perform at a high level."