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Lions nip PCHS

The Pike County Bulldogs were playing for a fallen teammate Thursday in the AHSAA Class 3A South Regional, but Central-Hayneville denied the Bulldogs a trip to the regional final, 68-56 in Trojan Arena on the Troy University campus.

The Bulldogs’ Jarred Snell died abruptly Wednesday night and the team went through grief counseling with the rest of their classmates Thursday, but Central-Hayneville was a little too much for the Bulldogs to handle in overtime Thursday afternoon.

“It was a good game and we knew it would be a highly contested game,” PCHS head coach Doug Holland said. “I just thank God for giving us the opportunity to compete today.”

Holland said he was proud of how the team handled the situation.

“It was extremely hard to get up for the game just knowing that a kid you worked with for so long was not getting on the bus,” Holland said. “I am just proud of how my team, regardless of the outcome, put things in perspective a little more. I was very pleased with my team today.”

The Bulldogs (21-8) as a team made the decision to play Thursday in honor of Snell and Holland said he would have expected no less from his team.

“Coming out and playing today is pretty much indicative of their attitudes and how they are as young men,” Holland said. “They understand that there is going to be adversity in your life and it is left up to you how you handle it. So I was extremely proud of them wanting to play today.”

The game went to overtime and the extra frame was no different then the other four quarters. It was fueled by momentum. The Lions jumped out to a five-point lead early in the period and held the Bulldogs scoreless in the period. Hayneville’s Tracy White was 0-for-6 from behind the arc before he drained a three-pointer with 2:53 to play and converted a steal and score to put the Lions up by five.

The first four quarters went much the same way, as the Lions jumped out to a 15-7 lead, but Pike County cut that lead to one and took a two-point lead at halftime on a three-pointer from Jarrod Wilson.

The Bulldogs built on that lead in the third quarter and led 39-35 after three quarters, but Hayneville outscored Pike 21-17 in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 56-56.

“I thought the game was an intense game and an emotional game considering the circumstances, but both teams came prepared tonight,” Hayneville head coach Toriano Baker said. “We did our best job in the second half. We didn’t do a great job in the first half. For the most part it is this group’s first time being this far, so it was a shock. Once we woke up in the second half I think we were in our element.”

Quay Bailey led the Bulldogs with 16 points. Martellis Foster added 14 points and nine rebounds.

Kendrick Jackson had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Wilson had eight points.

Click here for a photo gallery of Thursday’s action