By Bob Jones
Special to the Daily
Rodney Brown provided the needed spark for the Dutchtown Bulldogs in the last minute of overtime, and the Bulldogs got past the Woodland Wolfpack 58-53 in Region 3A-AAAA Henry county hoops action
In the opener, the Lady Wolves had a very strong second half to erase an 11-point Lady Bulldog lead and turn it into a 51-45 Woodland victory.
Dutchtown (7-9 overall, 5-1 in 3A-AAAA) continues to surge after the football team returned to the hardcourt following a long run in the playoffs, while Woodland (9-7, 4-2) falls a game behind Dutchtown.
On the girls side, the Lady Wolfpack upped their overall mark to 13-3 and moved to 5-1 in region play. Dutchtown's girls fall to 9-6 and 3-3.
The girls game looked like a couple teams that hadn't played or practiced much since an unexpected week-long layoff due to the weather.
A total of 55 turnovers and 42 personal fouls are only part of the evidence.
Both teams shot poorly (Woodland 17 of 48 for 35% and Dutchtown 18 of 53 for 34%) and Woodland missed 21 free throws. Both Lady Wolves and Lady Dogs have a lot to work on before the final run for the playoffs can begin in earnest.
Dutchtown head coach April Tate related that the team motto for the year is "Rise Up."
The Lady Bulldogs did indeed rise up several times, once being at the end of the first and into the second periods when a 9-0 D-Town run gave the Lady Dogs a 16-8 lead. Tate also said "our team chemistry, game by game, is beginning to blend." That blending carried Dutchtown to its largest lead of the game at 32-21 early in the second half.
For the rest of the contest, however, it was Woodland which looked to have the blend and the chemistry. Woodland outscored Dutchtown 30-13 the rest of the way, behind strong second half efforts from Lindsey Reed (7 in second half), Morgan Jones (7), and Bendrea Willis (8). Dutchtown didn't help themselves in the fourth, committing eleven turnovers for a total of 28 on the game.
Domonique Clune and Aisha Atwater led the Lady Dogs with 10 points apiece, and Clune had a game-high 10 rebounds. Reed led all scorers with 13 for Woodland, followed by Jones' 11 and Willis' 10. Willis was a powerhouse inside with nine rebounds and a couple of blocked shots. Jones was also stong on defense with four steals and four blocks
Dutchtown's boys avenged a December 3 loss at Woodland (67-64) with the overtime victory that also snapped Woodland's modest four-game winning streak. Each team had stretches where they played well and other stretches of not so well.
In the first period, the game was tied four times before Dutchtown surged to a 14-9 lead after eight minutes. The teams traded four-point leads in the second before the Bulldogs scored the last five points of the half for a 26-26 tie at intermission.
A pair of threes by A'Darius Porter and Omar Dover opened the third quarter on a high note for the Wolfpack, but back came the Dogs to tie the game at 32 and seize a short-lived 34-32 lead. Woodland finished the third stronger, clinging to a 42-40 lead after three. The Woodland lead grew to 49-42 before Dutchtown began another comeback. A couple late Woodland turnovers turned into easy baskets for the Bulldogs, and Montrez Metts tied the game at 51 with less than a minute to play. The Wolfpack had the ball for the last thirty seconds, but were unable to break the tie, and four extra minutes were put on the clock.
Both teams were very deliberate in the first couple minutes of the extra frame, and the score was tied at 53 as the clock clicked under 1:00. Kellan Holiday converted just the first of two free throws twice in the last minute of OT for Dutchtown, but then entered Mr. Brown. He answered the question "what can Brown do for you?" in a powerful way, grabbing the offensive rebound of Holiday's second miss and sticking the ball back in for a big four-point lead.
Immediately Brown went on defense, with a steal to seal the deal.
The Wolfpack was led by Porter's 14 points and 15 rebounds. Dover contributed 11 and Merlon Jones added 10. Holiday was not on holiday for Dutchtown, as he scored 19 points and picked up five steals.