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Lady ‘Dogs win area title behind Smiley

Story from The Daily Mountain Eagle
Dora’s Kayla Smiley (22) is congratulated by Kimber Holt after Smiley’s game-winning basket against Halyeville on Saturday. Smiley had 36 points in the Lady Bulldogs’ 67-66 win. (Photo by Johnathan Bentley)
CHARLES R. WATTS
Eagle Correspondent
Published February 11, 2006 11:50 PM CST
HALEYVILLE -- The Dora Lady Bulldogs are coming home for an encore.
The Lady Dogs overcame a hostile crowd, a seven-point half time deficit, and a scoreboard snafu to claim the Class 4A, Area 13 title 67-66 over the Haleyville Lady Lions Saturday night. Dora senior guard Kayla Smiley hit a runner in the lane as time expired to lift Dora to victory and the chance to host a subregion game Thursday night.

"I just wanted the ball and the last shot. I knew we were going to win that game," said Smiley.

She finished with a game-high 36 points.

"It was a play we have worked on all year but have never had to use," said Bulldog coach Brian Keeton of the winning basket.

"At the last time out Kayla wanted the ball and when she wants the ball, we give it to her. We in-bounded and passed into Kimber (Holt) in the high post and she dished to Kayla who drove the lane and got the job done."

Haleyville dominated inside early making two quick baskets to take a 4-0 lead.

Smiley hit a pull up jumper in the lane to break the ice for the Lady Bulldogs.

Katti Miller and Hannah Elliott continued their strong inside play giving Haleyville second and third attempts and increased the lead to 13-6.

Dora hung around. Chantrese Softley scored two buckets in the final minute of the quarter, cutting the Haleyville lead to 15-12.

Miller led the Lady Lions on a 6-0 run midway through the second quarter as Haleyville surged ahead 26-17.

Smiley answered with an off-balance jumper then hit a wide open Holt for a lay up to trim the Haleyville lead back to five points.

Haleyville ended the half with an old-fashioned three-point play. Miller hit another basket in the paint and was fouled. The free throw was good to give the Lady Lions a 36-29 half time lead.

Kayla James started the scoring for Dora in the second half as the Lady Bulldogs turned up the defensive intensity.

"It has been a tight game every time we have played them so at the half we decided to unleash the press and see if we could put some heat on them," said Keeton.

The strategy paid off.

A pair of steals by Softley led to a lay up and two foul shots by Smiley trimmed the Haleyville lead to 38-35. Smiley continued to light it up with another basket. A breakaway lay up by Softley gave the Lady Bulldogs their first lead 39-38.

The Lady Dogs continued the flurry going on a 10-point run to open up a 43-38 lead.

A scoring error which credited a Dora basket to Haleyville temporarily broke the Lady Bulldogs' momentum.

Haleyville took advantage, going on a nine-point run of its own to reclaim the lead at 47-43.

Smiley again led the Lady Bulldogs back, scoring three quick buckets to end the third quarter with Haleyville clinging to a one-point lead.

Dora took the lead again on a 3-pointer by Softley.

Miller answered with a pair of free throws for Haleyville as the lead see- sawed back and forth.

A steal and a lay up by Softley put Dora ahead 65-64 with under a minute remaining.

Following a Haleyville miss, Dora was called for a five-second violation giving the ball back to Haleyville.

Liz Odom hit a jumper from along the baseline putting Haleyville back ahead by a point with 15 seconds left in regulation.

Dora crossed mid court and called time out to set up the final play and the game-winning basket.

Smiley was joined in double figures by Softley with 17.

Katti Miller led Haleyville with 23 points.

Dora will host the winner of the Corner-West Point game Thursday night. The winner advances to the Northwest Regional Tournament in Hanceville.


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