New Covenant Academy was closing in on victory against Dora on Friday night. The Warriors led by seven points with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
But a series of NCA turnovers and a clutch 3-pointer from Dora senior Dustin Johnson gave the Falcons a second life. Dora pushed the game into overtime, where it scored just four points, but that was enough to claim a 73-71 victory.
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“I thought our defensive pressure really stepped up,” said Dora coach Rick Luna. “They missed a few throws, which gave us an opening. Then, Dustin Johnson comes down and knocks down a huge 3-pointer.”
NCA went scoreless in the final 3:15 of regulation. The Warriors also committed turnovers on three straight possessions in the final 1:30.
Leading by three points with 24 seconds to go, NCA missed two free throws. On its ensuing possession, Dora missed a layup but got the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Johnson for the game-tying trey with 14 seconds remaining.
NCA would then draw a foul, but again come up 0-for-2 at the free throw line with five seconds remaining. Dora couldn’t get off a game-winning shot attempt before time expired in regulation.
Free throws were a problem for both teams. The Warriors were 11-for-26. Dora wasn’t much better, shooting 14-for-27.
“If we knock down more free throws, we probably win the game and not even have to go to overtime,” said NCA coach Mike Foley.
“We usually shoot (free throws) a lot better,” Luna said. “We had a rough night there. That’s not typical of us.”
The teams went scoreless for the first two minutes of overtime then traded a pair of free throws to tie the game 71-71. Dora’s Treysen Hambelton then followed his own missed alley-oop layup with a short putback to give the Falcons the 73-71 lead with less than 1:30 to go.
Dora led by two with possession in the final 20 seconds, but a turnover gave the ball back to NCA.
The Warriors couldn’t get much of an open look with nine seconds left. Sam Lincoln’s rushed 3-pointer was no good as the final horn sounded.
Foley wouldn’t say his team let a win slip away, instead pointing out that the Warriors got back into the game after trailing by eight points at halftime.
“We certainly didn’t do a good job of closing the game, but I was proud of the way we got back into it and took the lead,” he said.
Aiding the Warriors was a defensive decision to go box-and-one on Hambelton, who led Dora with 19 points.
“That’s the first time a team has gone box-and-one on us with Hambelton,” Luna said. “It caught us a bit off-guard.”
The Warriors are the No. 4 seed for the Class 2, District 11 tournament and play host school Spokane at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 18.
Dora has the most wins (19) in its district but is seeded fourth. The Falcons play Norwood in the Class 2, District 10 tournament hosted by Mansfield at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 19.
Dora 73, New Covenant 71
Dora 21 21 11 16 4 --- 73
NCA 19 15 26 9 2 --- 71
Dora – Treysen Hambelton 19, Gavin Haney 18, Dustin Johnson 18, Kamryn Johnson 10, Hayden Hunter 3, Tommy McKee 3, Matt Rodgers 2
NCA – Jarred Schrader 21, Chace Smartt 21, Austin Cassity 11, Sam Lincoln 9, Joshua James 5, Corey Weimer 2, Aaron Battaglia 2
Dora B 50, NCA B 29
Lady Falcons roll to victory
Dora’s suffocating full-court defense made all the difference in a 39-point road win at New Covenant on Friday night.
Shelby Collins scored a game-high 29 points as Dora picked up its program-best 20th win of the season, beating the Lady Warriors 73-34.
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“We get up and down the court,” said Dora coach Cecil Meyer. “We get up and guard a little bit, we run the floor. We’ve got a real athletic group that can do that, and shoot the ball well.”
Dora (20-6 overall) led 21-8 after the first quarter and by 17 at halftime. Its full-court defense often created turnovers before New Covenant could get the ball across the half court line.
Casey Askins led NCA (13-9 overall) with 13 points. Kelsi Land added 13 points for Dora, which had nine players register points in the game.
“I thought we settled a little bit shooting the 3 there in the second quarter when they went man,” Meyer said. “I felt like we could get some stuff going to the basket. For the most part, we did a good job.”
Dora is the No. 2 seed for the Class 2, District 10 tournament in Mansfield. The Lady Falcons play Fordland in the quarterfinals on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.
New Covenant (14-9 overall) is the No. 6 seed for the Class 2, District 11 tournament in Spokane. The Lady Warriors play No. 3 seed Morrisville on Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m.
Dora 73, New Covenant 34
Dora 21 15 23 14 --- 73
NCA 8 11 11 4 --- 34
Dora – Shelby Collins 29, Kelsi Land 13, Jordan Smith 8, Shelby Harris 7, Lexi York 7, Cheyanna Miller 3, Samantha Jackson 2, Monica Kelley 2, Laiken Collins 2
NCA – Casey Askins 13, Holly Golden 10, Bailey Gardner 6, Emma Clark 2, Karlee Renkoski 2, Emma Petree 1