After failing multiple times to put Carbon Hill away, the visiting Bulldogs had one last chance. With less than a second remaining, Carbon Hill’s Jordan Henson put up the potential game-winning shot — and just missed the mark — as Dora earned a 68-67 victory.
“It looked good coming out of his hands. It about scared me to death,” Bridges’ said of Henson’s last shot.
The final shot was a culmination of a hectic ending.
Dora (23-7) was leading by four points after a pair of DeKari Swain free throws with 14 seconds remaining. Carbon Hill’s Gerald Smith followed with a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left, cutting the lead to a point.
On its next possession, Dora lost the ball at half court with Carbon Hill’s Stevie Simerly gaining possession. Smith ended up with the ball, but was called for a traveling violation with just .4 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Dora’s in-bounds pass hit the official and was called out of bounds, giving Carbon Hill one last chance.
The win gave Dora its fourth victory over Carbon Hill this season.
“I knew it was going to be a close, hard-fought game because we are so familiar with each other,” Bridges said. “After you’ve played each other so many times, you know just what the other team is going to do and they know what you are going to do.”
Next up for Dora is a home sub-region game on Friday against Calera (13-12), the Area 7 runner up.
Carbon Hill travels to Bibb County (25-5) on Friday for its sub-region game. Bibb County routed Calera 72-31 in the Area 7 tournament championship game on Monday.
“I’m glad we were able to pull this game out because we wanted to give these seniors another game at home,” Bridges said. “You always want home-court advantage. That’s what we were fighting for.”
Monday’s game was close throughout. Dora led 20-17 after the opening quarter despite Carbon Hill getting 10 points from Smith, who had 13 of Carbon Hill’s 14 second-quarter points.
Dora led 34-31 at the half.
Carbon Hill (16-14) trailed by as many as seven in the third quarter, but cut the gap to 51-47 after three quarters.
The visiting Bulldogs grabbed the lead twice in the fourth quarter. Henson put Carbon Hill on top with 4:44 left on a putback. Carbon Hill’s final lead came at 57-56 following a pair of Chandler Gann free throws with 4:25 remaining.
Dora took the lead for good on a Kenton Petties 3-point play. Petties had 10 points in the final quarter and Kelan Bell hit two crucial 3-pointers.
Dora’s win overshadowed a tremendous effort from Carbon Hill’s Smith, who finished with 35 points. Henson added 11.
Petties finished with 25 points for Dora while Charles Clay and Bell each added nine points.