FINALS BOUND: The Pike County Bulldogs defeat Dale County 73-55 and advance to tournament Championship
Published 3:30 am Saturday, December 12, 2015
The Pike County Bulldogs cruised to a 73-55 win over Dale County on Friday, securing a spot in the today’s championship game of the Goshen Christmas Tournament.
“We played sluggish but it was good enough to get the win,” said coach Dough Holland. “I am proud of them tonight.”
The Bulldogs started fast and strong in the first half and Dale County had no answers for the Bulldogs’ full court press and up-tempo offense.
“I was proud to see that we rotated our trap a little bit better,” Holland said. “We did a great job at pushing things up to a faster pace tonight. The best thing about tonight was we got to rest our starters and get great production of the bench.”
The Bulldogs raced out to a 9-2 lead thanks to strong play by Deshon Cowling and Kamari Jackson.
The Bulldogs began the second quarter with a 12-point lead at 17-5 and by the half held a 36-15 over the Warriors. Cowling finished with eight in the quarter and 12 in the first half.
The Bulldogs have made a habit of fast starts in their short season.
“I think it’s very important considering we haven’t played many games,” Holland said. “When you have a senior team, it really doesn’t matter anyway because they will find a way. The one thing we talked about before the game was being focused.”
Pike County went on a 12-2 run to begin the third quarter and jumped out to a 50-28 lead.
Cowling, who played such a pivotal role in the first half, played just a handful of minutes leaving it up the Bulldogs bench that has been instrumental in the first couple games of the tournament.
“I think that is extremely important, with Deshon in foul trouble,” Holland said. “I really thought our team began to gel just a little bit.”
The Warriors rallied in the fourth quarter but only got to within 16 points before the Bulldogs pulled away.
Jackson led the way for the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Cowling finished with 12
The win for the Bulldogs puts them in the championship game where they will await the winners of the Goshen and Ariton.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Holland said. “It’s been a while since we were in the championship game in Goshen.”