Miller leads Dallas County to area win

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2004

Late in the third quarter, the Montevallo Bulldogs had put a little run together and cut the Dallas County lead to just three points.

Put the Hornets’ sophomore point guard Rafel Miller had an answer.

Miller hit a trey, then got loose on a fast break for a deuce and just like that, the Bulldog rally was dead.

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The Hornets, led by Miller’s 25 points, went on to hold off Montevallo, 72-62 Thursday night in the opening round of area tournament play.

With the win, the Hornets will host Bibb County for the Area Tournament Title Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Miller came out smoking hot, scoring 12 points in the first quarter.

The Hornets did have a balanced night.

Michael Johnson added 15 points and several blocks. Patrick Jackson had 11 points despite second-half foul trouble that kept him on the bench.

Daron Waters had nine points and Artelious Dixon had six points.

Vincient Moore had five points.

Antonio Perry added a single point for the Hornets.

For Montevallo O’Neal Hudson had 22 points to lead the way.

Brian Fulgham added 12 and Wes Archer had seven.

The teams were evenly matched at the start, despite the Hornets’ regular season sweep of the Bulldogs.

With Hudson leading the charge, Montevallo had a 19-17 lead after a quarter of play.

With Johnson and Jackson pounding the ball inside, the Hornets took the half-time lead.

They pushed the lead out to 38-31 midway through the third.

After a Montevallo bucket cut the lead to five, Waters scored inside for a deuce.

A Bulldog three cut the lead to four.

Then, after Waters added a free throw, Archer hit a jumper for the Dogs that cut the lead to three.

Miller hit a pull up three then after a Johnson steal, he took the pass and laid it up and in for two more.

The Bulldogs stuck around into the fourth quarter, including an exchange of big jams from Hudson and Johnson, but Dallas County was too strong down the stretch.

A win Saturday night means Dallas County would be at home for the Sub-Regional next Friday.