Pike County defeats Abbeville for area championship

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Pike County Bulldogs defeated the Abbeville Yellow Jackets 44-38 Saturday to claim their second consecutive Class 3A Area 4 championship.

“This feels really good, “said Bulldogs coach Doug Holland. “This area seemed to be the toughest area all year long. The year seemed so long. Many people didn’t think we would be back here but it’s like déjà vu.”

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets have had epic battles all year, perhaps because the teams are so similar.

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“They are one of the hardest teams in the area,” Holland said. “They are very athletic and they do a good job at transitioning back on defense.”

The Bulldogs stretched the lead out to as many as 12 points in the first half before the Yellow Jackets were able to get it back down to single digits heading into the locker room at 25-16.

The Yellow Jackets outscored the Bulldogs 12-6 in the third period and trailed by only three points as the final period began.

Abbeville began the quarter on a 6-0 run, taking the lead at 34-33. The teams traded the lead in the final minutes until Jerrell Lawson sunk a big basket with 1:45 remaining.

The defense followed the make sure with a block on the other end, which they converted into two easy points to stretch the lead out to 3 points with 1:05 remaining.

The defense once again stepped up as they forced a steal, causing the Yellow Jackets to intentionally foul Deshon Cowling and sending him to the free throw line, where he clinched the game.

“I told them they would make a run,” Holland said. “They have a really good coach and they have players that have been here a while. They are rich in tradition so we knew they were going to make a run.”

The Bulldogs will now get ready for the single elimination portion of the post season where they will host T.R. Miller in the sub-regionals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.