Hornets, Bears win MLK openers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 19, 2005

ORRVILLE – The Dallas County High School Hornets coughed up a 10-point fourth quarter lead, but came away with a 63-59 overtime victory over Prattville in the first round of the Keith High School MLK Memorial Tournament on Monday.

The Hornets forced overtime on a three-pointer by guard Rafel Miller with two seconds remaining in regulation. Dallas County sank two quick baskets midway through the extra period to seal the win.

“That’s the third time in two years that Rafel has done that for us at the end of a game,” Hornets coach Bill Porter Jr. said.

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The Hornets, playing without senior forward Michael Johnson, opened the game by scoring 16 straight points.

But the Dallas County offense sputtered the final three minutes of the quarter, enabling Prattville to cut the margin in half, 16-8.

Turnovers plagued the Hornets in the second quarter, even though they controlled the boards. Dallas County went more than four minutes without a field goal.

“We’ve been battling the turnovers all year,”

Porter said. “We constantly work on turnovers in practice.”

The Hornets went on another scoring drought at the end of the second quarter, but held on to lead at halftime, 26-21. Antonio Perry contributed 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

Both teams struggled offensively for the first few minutes of the third quarter, before Perry dropped in six straight points to give Dallas County a 35-25 advantage with 4:46 left in the period. Perry’s shooting kept the Hornets’ 10-point lead intact. Dallas County led, 43-33 going into the final period.

. The Lions went on an 11-4 run the first three minutes of the fourth to pull to within three. After an untimely turnover, Dallas County found itself in a tie game with 3:16 to go, and again, 52-52 with two minutes left.

Prattville took its first lead after another Hornets’ turnover. The Lions scored on their next possesssion to go up four, 56-52, with 37 seconds left.

Dallas County forward Artelious Dixon was fouled attempting a 3-pointer, but could hit only two of the three attempts. Prattville missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the Hornets missed on their next possession and sent the Lions to the free-throw line with 16 seconds left.

Prattville converted just one foul shot to open its lead to 57-54, before Miller fired his game-tying three as time ran out.

Prattville scored just one basket in overtime.

“We were trying to get a proper rotation going in our zone defense,” Porter said. “We had trouble with it in our last game. We also wanted to run our motion offense and just get out of here with a win.”

Perry led all scorers with 21 points. Miller finised with 18 and Dixon added 13.

The Keith Bears opened their First Annual Martin Luther King Tournament with an easy 65-25 win over the under-manned and under-sized A. L. Johnson Eagles.

“Their coach told me that he had problems getting some of his players to the game,” Keith coach Joseph Pettway said.

A. L Johnson dressed only five players for the game. Keith controlled the game from start to finish. It was all but over by the end of the first quarter, with Keith ahead 22-2. The Bears led comfortably at halftime, 35-9.

The Bears played their second unit the entire second half.

“It wasn’t that we were trying to score,” Pettway said. “But it’s hard for the kids not to play when they’re out there.”

Ladarius Jones led the way for the Bears with 18 points.