Moving on: Bulldogs score in game’s final seconds to knock off Dale County in area tournament
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Senior Deshon Cowling scores with 2.2 seconds remaining to give the Pike County Bulldogs a 45-43 win over the Dale County Warriors in the first round of the Class 3A Area 5 tournament.
The win ensures the Bulldogs a spot in the sub-regional tournament.
“I am very proud,” said Bulldogs head coach Doug Holland. “I don’t think we played very well. They never gave up. We knew heading into area it was going to be a tight game.”
Tuesday’s win marks the fourth time this season the Bulldogs defeated the Warriors.
The Warriors and Bulldogs traded buckets in the opening quarter, with Dale County leading twice.
Led by Jerrell Lawson and Deshon Cowling, who scored nine and eight points respectively, the Bulldogs began to play with intensity when the game transitioned into the second quarter. Their full-court press prompted Dale County turnovers which were easily converted to Bulldog points.
The Bulldogs led 28-23 at the half, and if it wasn’t for easy second hand chances by Dale County the Bulldogs lead may have been a bit higher.
“They have hurt us on that all year long,” Holland said. “They do a good job at rebounding offensively. They play so hard. They are athletic.”
In the second half the Bulldogs once again turned up the heat defensively and forced the Warriors to take unwanted shots.
“Part of it is how long and athletic we are,” Holland said. “We knew that trip has hurt them all year so we wanted to do what we have done against them all year.
The Bulldogs took a slim 37-35 lead into the game’s final quarter.
The Warriors converted on a three pointer right at the start of play in the fourth quarter to give them their first lead since it was 6-5 in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs quickly took it back with Cowling converted a basket.
The two teams traded baskets until the Warriors were able to even up the score at 43 a piece with one minute to go.
The Bulldogs sat on the ball for the entire final minute of play and with just over two seconds remaining Cowling took off towards the basket and converted on a lay up to give the Bulldogs the lead for good.
“I wanted to be patient and make sure we got the last shot at home,” Holland said. “We wanted to get the shot that we wanted.
Lawson finished with 18 points to lead the Trojans while Cowling finished with 11.
With the win the Bulldogs will now go up against Abbeville on Saturday at 7 p.m. for the area championship.