Top-ranked Dallas County uses late push to rally past SelmaPublished 1:18am Saturday, December 21, 2013
Dallas County, ranked No. 1 in the ASWA Class 4A poll, survived a stern test from Selma Friday night in the semifinals of the Dallas County Classic Tournament at Wallace Community College Selma.
The Hornets held on to win 52-47, but had to rally from a ten-point first half deficit.
“We rebounded a lot better in the second half,” Dallas County head coach Willie Moore said. “We sort of lost our composure early in the game. We seemed like we didn’t know what we were doing offensively or defensively.”
Dallas County was held to only six points in the second quarter — leaving the Hornets down 21-15 at the half — but managed to score 37 in a fast paced second half.
“They brought the game to us and the intensity that you need to play in a rivalry game wasn’t there on our part in the first half,” Moore said. “We picked it up a little bit in the second half and we got some shots to fall but we have got to do a better job of our team playing together as a team.”
Selma head coach Woodie Jackson said his team played well, but mistakes in the final few minutes cost the Saints a chance to win.
“We played hard,” Jackson said. “We still had a turnover here or there at an inopportune time.”
The Hornets trailed 42-40 with 5:22 left to play in the game, but rallied to outscore the Saints 11-3 in the waning minutes.
Dallas County’s Raheem Phillips hit a three to give Dallas County a 43-42 lead in the second half with 5:02 left to play and Kendell Motley followed with a layup. After Motley added a free throw, Selma’s Kahmaul Jones fouled out on a moving offensive screen. Jackson said Jones fouling out had a big impact on the final few minutes of the game.
“He is a presence,” Jackson said. “He rebounds well and he can block a shot if he’s there.”
Phillips again drove to the basket for an easy layup, giving Dallas County a 47-42 lead with 2:46 remaining, but Selma wouldn’t go away quietly. Dexter Hatcher hit a three to pull the Saints within 47-45.
Jerrod Moorer made two free throws, extending the Dallas County lead to 49-45.
With 57.2 seconds left, Dallas County’s William Lee put the game away with a layup through contact to make the score 51-45.
From there, Selma’s Keyshawn Ford nailed two free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt, but the Saints were unable to make another basket to draw closer.
Selma led the game at halftime and maintained its lead the entire third quarter behind timely shots and tremendous defense.
Lee led the way for the Hornets with 17 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks.
Moorer added 18 points for the Hornets.
Hatcher made all three of his three-point attempts and scored 13 points in all. He also added 14 rebounds.
Dallas County will meet Wilcox Central in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.