Bulldogs knock off Mobile Christian in final minutes

Published 10:29 pm Friday, January 3, 2014

With less than a minute to play and Pike County trailing Mobile Christian by three, things looked grim for the Bulldogs. Fifteen seconds and two layups later, things didn’t seem so bad.

The Bulldogs used a 12-2 run over the game’s final four minutes to pull away from the Mobile Christian Leopards and steal a pivotal non-area 43-39 win under the lights in Brundidge.

Pike County came out of the gate sluggishly, perhaps because the team had not been accustomed to starting games at 3 p.m.

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The Bulldogs could not get on the scoreboard for the first four minutes of the game. Deshon Cowling scored the first bucket for the Bulldogs on a strong drive to the basket with 3:42 remaining in the first quarter. Luckily for the Bulldogs, Mobile Christian was dealing with offensive inadequacies of their own. The Leopards only managed two field goals in the first quarter.

Larry Sellers tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 7-5 lead after one quarter.

Both offenses heated up in the second quarter. The Leopards made five consecutive buckets to race out to an 18-11 lead, but the Bulldogs were able to claw their way back in to the game with an 8-2 run to close out the second quarter. Sophomore Jerrell Lawson led the way for the Bulldogs with six points in the frame. Pike County trailed 19-20 at the half.

The two teams traded buckets throughout the third quarter. Cowling drained a jumper with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night at 28-22. Two quick buckets by Mobile Christian cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 28-27 as the two teams headed in to the final frame.

The Leopards came out on fire in the fourth quarter, using a 10-3 run to roll out to a 37-31 lead with just under four minutes to play. Pike County responded by switching its defense to a full-court press after every missed shot.

The defensive change flummoxed the Leopard offense, and Pike County was able to score four straight points to cut the Leopard’s lead to four with just under a minute left in the game.

Following a made Ryshaun Hall free thrown, the Leopards looked to inbound the ball. Pike County’s pressure defense forced a turnover, and Deshon Cowling converted an easy layup to bring the Bulldogs’ deficit to one.

The Leopards tried to inbound the ball again, but a bad pass found its way in to Ryshaun Hall’s hands. Hall converted his field goal attempt to give the Bulldogs a one-point lead with 30 seconds to play.

Mobile Christian turned the ball over again trying to inbound the ball. Hall sunk three free throws to seal the game and give Pike County a 43-39 win.

Lawson paced the Bulldogs on offense with 11 points. Hall finished nine points.

Pike County coach Doug Holland said he was proud of the way his team battled back against adversity. “In the fourth quarter, we told the kids to stay together,” Holland said. “We came out flat, but, in the fourth quarter, we increased our defensive tempo. That was the key to the game. The boys stayed together and battled back for a quality win.”

The win should give the Bulldogs confidence heading in to area play. “This is a big win for the team,” Holland said. “We were coming off a tough 56-53 loss at Geneva, and we wanted to get some momentum as we go in to area play. Our next three games are on the road. We’ll be working on maintaining our defensive tempo in those games.”

The first of the Bulldogs three area road games is Tuesday against Montgomery Catholic. Junior varsity games tip at 4 p.m. in Montgomery.