The Pike County Bulldogs have been a winning machine so far this year. The Bulldogs latest victim was Luverne. PCHS walked away from the Luverne Invitational with the first place trophy Saturday night after a 57-54 victory.
“That game went down to the wire and Luverne had a shot at winning, but our defense stiffened and we held on,” PCHS head coach Doug Holland said. “We had a great defensive effort in the victory.”
Holland said the Bulldogs (7-3) and Tigers were locked in a battle all game. PCHS led 24-22 at the half and both teams came out shooting in the second half.
“I knew it was going to come down to whoever went cold first,” Holland said. “We made adjustments in the post and we were hitting shots in the second half. We were also in the bonus for most of the half, which helped. We hit our free throws and sealed the deal.”
Quay Bailey led the Bulldogs all tournament long and was named Tournament MVP for his efforts.
“Quay did a great job of controlling the offense and playing point guard for us,” Holland said. “He was a great leader out there for us.”
Tevin Andrews, Deandre Mathis and Josh Parker were named to the all-tournament team.
Bailey had 13 points against Luverne. Andrews had 10 points, seven rebounds and one assist against Luverne. Martellis Foster led the scoring for the Bulldogs with 16 points. He added seven rebounds and five assists.
“Martellis was really one of the keys to our victory in the championship game,” Holland said. “He has been improving every game and he helped us a great deal against Luverne.”
Pike County opened the tournament with a 69-66 win over Brantley Friday night.
“We had great team play in the Brantley game,” Holland said. “We pressured them on the inside and outside and forced a lot of turnovers in the second half.”
The Bulldogs needed to change the pace of the game after stepping into a 32-21 hole at halftime.
“We made some adjustments at the half and we trapped really well late in the game to protect the lead,” Holland said. “They stayed together as a team and we rebounded well in the second half. We matched their intensity in the half, which is something we didn’t do in the first half. We also shot the ball a lot better.”
Pike clung to a five-point lead with around one minute remaining in the game and held off Brantley for the win.
Andrews led the way with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists. Foster had 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Bailey chipped in eight points, five rebounds and six assists.
Up next for the Bulldogs is the Dothan Eagle Holiday Prep Classic at the Ozark Civic Center beginning Friday night. Pike faces defending AHSAA Class 4A state champion Bullock County at 9:30 p.m. Friday in the first round of the tournament.