Miller’s trifecta lifts Hornets

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 14, 2003

Hornet point guard Rafel Miller took the inbounds pass, weaved through traffic.

With time running out, he drained a 20-foot 3-pointer from the top of the arch to lift the Dallas County Hornets past the Holt Ironmen 75-74 in area hoops action Friday night in Plantersville.

The Hornets, now 6-5

and 2-0 in area play, seemed doomed when they lost rebounding machine Patrick Jackson to injury in the first half and 6-foot-5 junior Michael Johnson with over 7 minutes remaining in the fourth period to fouls.

Without their inside presence the Hornets trailed the entire fourth quarter, with its largest deficit a 71-63 with 1:43 remaining.

“Our kids never quit.

They fought hard all the way,” said second-year Hornet head coach Bill Porter Jr.

“There’s no doubt our early season schedule against Selma, Southside, and playing in the Gulf Shores Invitational has helped us grow as a team.”

The Class 4-A stingers got off to an early start behind Johnson, a smooth operator inside and out.

Despite early foul trouble, Johnson had 12 first half points and combined with Jackson and Artelious Dixon to push the Hornets to a 38-33 half-time bulge.

A small but scrappy Holt team would not be intimidated and rode the game-high 22 points by Matt Richardson to attempt to steal a road win from the Hornets.

The Ironmen seemed poised to do just that gaining the 8-point cushion with under two minutes to play.

Antonio Perry came up big with a steal and lay up and Dixon added two free throws after another Holt turnover to set up Miller’s heroics.

“That was a set play we practice everyday just for situations like that.

Rafel hit a big shot,” an exhausted Porter added.

Area 7 opponents can look forward to a bigger, deeper Hornet squad after the holidays as 6-foot-5 Deron Waters and 6-foot-3 Vincient Moore with join the Green and White in its quest for a playoff run.

Miller finished with 17 points and 7 assists, while Johnson knocked down 20 points and 9 rebounds.

Dixon had 20 in the winning effort. Antoino Perry had 12 for the Hornets.

Patrick Jackson, who’s been playing extremely well for the Hornets, got his two front teeth knocked out in the game.

He was taken to Birmingham Friday night for surgery.

According to Porter, Jackson is recovering well but will be out indefinitely.

No foul was called on the play.

Dallas County returns to action Tuesday night traveling to Orrville to take on the always tough county rival Keith High Bears.