Bulldogs back on top

Second-half rally leads Dora to county title

CORDOVA — Trailing by double-digits in the third quarter Saturday night, Dora took momentum and the victory from Oakman in the Walker County Tournament championship game at Cordova High School. Fueled by a torrid 21-4 run to end the third quarter, the Bulldogs and coach Michael Bridges earned the 62-53 victory, giving Dora its first county boys title since 2010. “We challenged them at halftime. We were sleep-walking,” Bridges said. “The coaches challenged the seniors to step up, and they did. JaCory Woods and Tyler Leach decided they were going to lead the team. I’m proud of the way the kids responded. “I know what’s in these kids. They will fight through it when things aren’t going well. They just have to settle in. I knew they had the fight in them. We’ll use this as motivation going forward.” Top-seeded Oakman controlled the first half and took a comfortable 32-20 lead into the locker room. Dora, the No. 3 seed, hit the court in the third quarter with a different mindset. Tournament MVP Brent Geeter stared Dora’s third-quarter run with a 3-pointer. Woods followed with a 3-pointer to cut the gap to six points. With Oakman still holding a 38-32 lead, Dora continued its run with Jamaal Harris making a basket and Jaymon Parker putting back a miss to cut the gap to two points. Following a technical foul on Oakman, Dora took the lead for good with three free throws for a 39-38 lead. Parker added another layup and Leach drove the lane for a basket at the buzzer as the Bulldogs pushed the lead to 43-38 going into the fourth quarter. Dora made six straight free throws to start the final period for a 49-38 lead. After a nearly seven-minute drought, Oakman found its offense in the fourth quarter, getting as close as four points at 55-51 with 1:36 remaining. Geeter helped seal the win with a breakaway dunk at the one-minute mark. He added four straight free throws over the next 30 seconds to ice the Dora victory. Oakman used a run of its own in the first half to take a double-digit lead. With the game tied 9-9 in the first quarter, Oakman went on a 11-2 run that ended with the Wildcats holding a 20-11 lead early in the second quarter following a DJ Roberts 3-pointer. The lead ballooned to 14 points late in the quarter after consecutive baskets by Roberts gave Oakman a 32-18 lead. The Wildcats led 32-20 at the half. For Dora, Geeter had 22 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter alone, Averiun Berry had 11 points, Parker had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Leach added nine points. ‘I knew we had it in us,” Geeter said of the second-half rally. “This means a lot. It’s all we ever wanted.” For Oakman, Roberts had 13 points, four rebounds and four steals, Hubbard had 13 points and seven rebounds, AJ Odom had 10 points and 13 rebounds and Skylar Hice had nine points and seven rebounds. Along with MVP Geeter, Berry, Parker and Leach made the All-Tournament Team from Dora. Oakman’s Roberts and Hubbard made the squad along with Curry’s Jakob Hicks, Carbon Hill’s Carson McGinnis and Cordova’s Kam Cooper. ———

JV Boys Dora 41, Carbon Hill 36 Dora erupted for 34 second-half points to earn a 41-36 win over Carbon Hill in the JV boys championship game. Carbon Hill led 11-2 after the first quarter and 15-7 at the half. Darrien Wilkerson led a Dora charge in the third quarter, scoring 10 points as the team grabbed a 23-21 lead going into the final quarter. Wilkerson, who took home MVP honors, scored nine more points in the fourth quarter. Wilkerson had 19 points and Matthew Harrison added 12 for Dora. For Carbon Hill, Haden Pare had 12 points and Josh Kilgore put in 11. ——— JV Girls Curry 27, Carbon Hill 24 Curry jumped out to a 10-3 lead after the opening quarter and made the lead stand, beating Carbon Hill 27-24 for the JV Girls championship. The Yellow Jackets led 15-9 at the half and 20-15 after three quarters. Tournament MVP Mairabella Nail had 12 points for the Yellow Jackets, Alayna Key added six and Liz Barnett put in five. For Carbon Hill, Santana Clark had 11 points. ——— 9th-Grade Boys Carbon Hill 31, Dora 17 Carbon Hill won the 9th-grade boys title. Bryson Prince was named MVP.