By Doug Gorman
Ola boys basketball coach Curt Miller wasn't happy with the way his team was playing late in the fourth quarter against rival Dutchtown.
Down 10 points with a little more than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Miller let his team know about his displeasure during a time out.
That's when the Mustangs answered the coach's wake up call.
So despite being down at one time 56-46 after Travis May gave the Bulldogs the first double-digit lead of the contest, Miller's club stormed back and outscored their guest from Dutchtown 15-5 down the stretch, sending the game into overtime tied at 61-all.
Ola's Tim Mason capped the rally when he picked up a loose ball off the floor and laid it in off the glass as the buzzer sounded, setting the stage for the extra period.
Troy Swanson and Mason added 20 points each for Ola. Duthctown's Alphonzo Reid tossed in 22.
"They knew I was upset," Miller said . " I told them practice was not going to be very fun on Monday, but they rose to the occasion."
Ola took over in the extra period, outscoring the Bulldogs 14-6 to clinch the 75-67 victory.
With the win, Ola stays unbeaten, moving its record to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 4-AAAA play. Dutchtown dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in Region 4-AAAA.
Ola was playing with plenty of motivation. Teammate Montray Shields has been hospitalized after being hurt in a car accident, and it has given the Mustangs an extra incentive.
With Friday night's victory dedicated to their hurt teammate, Ola kept its eye on a prize that Miller hopes includes a first-ever region title at the end of the season.
"We are playing really well," he said. "We are not used to being undefeated at this point of the season."
Miller, who got his high school coaching career started at Dutchtown, still has a lot of respect for his former school, and his good friend Dutchtown coach Benard Farell.
"We talk all the time," Miller said. "His does a good job, and we knew this was going to be a hard-fought game.
It became a chess match early with the game tied 14-all at the end of the first period.
Dutchtown pulled out to a 29-26 lead at the half.
Reid had the hot hand for Dutchtown in the third quarter, knocking down three 3-point shots to give the Bulldogs a 46-40 lead heading into the final period. He finished with four treys for the game.
The inside play of Ola's Brad Blount helped keep the game close as he scored six of his eight points in the third quarter.
Dutchtown tries to get back on the winning track today when it travels to Luella. Ola plays Tuesday at Forest Park.
Dutchtown 78, Ola 39 (girls): Point guard Brittney Strickland scored 41 points for the Dutchtown Lady Bulldogs as they rolled to a 78-39 victory over Ola on the road Friday night.
Dutchtow built a 14-0 lead early, stretched it to 26-6 at the end of the first quarter en route to the Lady Bulldogs' Region 4-AAAA victory.
Dutchtown improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 4-AAAA action. The loss left Ola looking for its first win, dropping the team to 0-4.
The Lady Bulldogs extended their lead to 63-31 at the end of the third quarter.
Despite the loss, Ola picked up 3-point baskets from Morgan Knowles, Savannah Cook and Laura Carter. Carter led Ola with 13 points.
Lovejoy 96. East Coweta 72 (boys): Cameron Solomon scored 36 points and Morris Mitchell had a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds as the Wildcats rolled to the Region 4-AAAAA win.
Teammate LeRoy Merritt added 12 points for Lovejoy.