Dora pulls away from Thayer in second half to win Cabool Tournament title

By Amanda Perkins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

The Dora Falcons won the Cabool Holiday Tournament Monday night for the second consecutive year, defeating the Thayer Bobcats 66-49.

“Any time we go against Thayer, it is two teams that mirror one another,” said Dora head coach Rick Luna. “Matt (Pitts) does a great job with that young bunch, and we knew it would be physical. They matched our intensity, and a lot of times teams don’t match our intensity, so it took us until the third quarter to get rolling.”

After Dora outscored Thayer by ten in the first, the teams were tied at the half, thanks in part to the Bobcats’ control of the boards and a Jayce Haven and Logan Doss scoring attack. The Falcons pulled away with four minutes left in the third; Mason Luna scored underneath, and poised to do so again on his next possession, he instead kicked the ball out to Isaac Haney on the wing for a wide open three. Dora forced turnovers with a half-court trap and put up 19 points in the frame while holding Thayer to 6.

Isaac Haney added 10 of his 35 total points for Dora, which included seven threes, in the final quarter.

“The way we battled and played as a team in the second half, that was what stretched it out for us,” said tournament MVP Haney, also noting Thayer’s defense was tough to overcome.

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“They were exactly what we thought they would be,” said Thayer head coach Matt Pitts of Dora. “They are so physical and quick, and being bigger, faster, stronger was the difference in the game.”

Thayer fell into foul trouble early, and guard Gaige Pitts added five points before fouling out.

“Having Gaige sitting over there hurt, but that’s just par for the course and what we had to deal with, and those other kids really stepped up and made that run with him sitting over there and got right back in it,” said Coach Pitts.

“I’m proud of them for their effort, they played hard the whole time and we’ll get better from that,” he added.

The Cabool Holiday All-Tournament Team includes Grady Todd, Plato; Bryce Hambelton, Gainesville; Cainan Heck, Alton; Gaige Pitts, Thayer; Jordan Andrews, Thayer; Bryson Luna, Dora; Mason Luna, Dora; and Isaac Haney, Dora (tournament MVP).

Scoring for Thayer: Landon Grimes, 2; Keeton Nicholson, 2; Jordan Andrews, 4; Gaige Pitts, 5; Landry Pitts, 8; Jayce Haven, 13; and Logan Doss, 15.

Scoring for Dora: Bryson Luna, 4; Auston Luna, 6; Mason Luna, 9; Waylon Masters, 12; Isaac Haney, 35.