Girls Make History
Lady ‘Dogs top Corner, head to Northwest Regional
for first time
Chantrese Softley brings the ball up court against Corner during their
4A sub-regional contest Thursday night. Softley scored 30 points in Dora’s
68-34 victory. The Lady Bulldogs play East Lawrence in the Northwest Regional
Thursday. (Photo by Johnathan Bentley)
Eagle Sports Writer
Published February 16, 2006 11:42 PM CST
DORA -- Dora's girls breezed to a 68-34 victory
over Corner in Thursday night's sub-regional contest.
The problem was deciphering the most impressive
feat as the Lady Bulldogs earned their first ever appearance in next week's
Northwest Regionals at Wallace State-Hanceville.
Chantrese Softley's impressive 30 points?
Kayla Smiley's nine steals?
Dora shooting 50 percent from the field?
The Lady Bulldogs' 19-4 first-quarter run?
Or the 28 turnovers Dora forced Corner to
"It was a combination of a lot of things.
We play as a team, Chantrese did her part for the team and the defense
did their part for the team," said Dora head coach Brian Keeton.
"I couldn't really tell you what's more impressive.
"We just talk about playing as a team
and each night a different girl is going to step up. We've also done a
good job of not being jealous of each other and it's got us to where we
want to be."
The goal has been Wallace State and Dora
receives its opportunity. The Lady Bulldogs advance to oppose East Lawrence
next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. East Lawrence, ranked No. 2 in 4A, defeated
Brooks 76-53 on Thursday night.
Against Corner, Dora (20-10) didn't waste
any time controlling the tempo.
They jumped out to a 19-4 first-quarter lead
and got a tremendous boost from Softley who notched 11 consecutive points,
including three 3-pointers, in the opening quarter. She finished the game
shooting 4-of-9 from behind the arc.
It was easier to recall the shots Softley
missed against Corner instead of the ones she knocked down.
Basically, it was just one of those shooting
"I was feeling it and I wanted the ball,"
Softley said. "We just stepped up our defense and defense wins games.
It's awesome because we are the first girls' team to make it to Wallace."
Keeton knew the Lady Bulldogs needed a nice
shooting performance from Softley.
"Somebody had to step up and in the
last couple of ballgames it's either been Kimber (Holt) or Kayla (Smiley).
It was Chantrese's turn tonight," Keeton said. "You could see
when she walked in the door she was going to have a good game and I told
her just to play her game."
So did Smiley's defense and the rest of the
Smiley pestered the Lady Jackets with her
defense and also added 12 points in the scoring column and six assists.
Holt added 10 points and six rebounds and
Jonna Bailey pitched in with seven.
Nicole Russell led Corner in the defeat with
Dora slowed down the intensity a little in
the second quarter, but Corner could only get as close as 23-12.
Late in the quarter, Smiley hit two easy
layups to extend the lead and fittingly, Softley drilled another 3-pointer
to end the half.
Dora went on another 12-0 run to begin the
second half as Corner didn't hit a bucket until halfway through the quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs led 48-20 at the end of three frames.
The regionals at Wallace State began in 1994
coinciding with the state tournament in Birmingham and the Lady Bulldogs
had never advanced until Thursday.
Now, they'll attempt to do more damage against
a tough East Lawrence squad with a lot of postseason experience at Wallace
State. The best philosophy is to keep it simple.
"It's like the county championship.
We won it and we don't want to lose it," Keeton said. "We're
going to Wallace and we want to continue to go to Wallace.
"Now, our goal is to win the next game
and at this point of the year you've got to put it all on the floor. If
it works out, it does, and if it doesn't you do the best you can."
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