Dora — which knocked off top-ranked Dallas County on Wednesday — looked ready to challenge Handley after a 32-point second quarter. However, the Bulldogs couldn’t maintain the pace and scored just 24 points in the second half as Handley built a double-digit lead and pulled away for the regional title.
The Bulldogs had few answers for Handley’s tournament MVP Travius Dunson, who scored 35 points for the contest and went 7-for-8 from outside the 3-point arc.
Handley jumped out to a 21-12 lead in the first period, with the Tigers sinking 3 of 4 baskets from 3-point range.
Handley held a 34-22 lead at the 4:29 mark of the second quarter after a Sedrick Tucker basket. From there, Dora turned up the defensive pressure. That led to a 14-0 run in less than two and a half minutes.
Kenton Petties connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to start the run. Deionte Smith added four straight points, Kaleil James made a basket and Smith put Dora in the lead at 36-34 after a layup at the 2:22 mark.
Handley (26-7) bounced back and got a score in the closing seconds of the half for a 48-44 lead going into the lockerroom. The teams combined for 59 points in the second quarter alone with Dora outscoring Handley 32-27.
Handley took command in the third period.
Dunson set the tone by drilling a 3-pointer on Handley’s first possession. The Tigers led 66-56 after three quarters.
The Bulldogs didn’t get closer than seven points the rest of the way. Dora (20-8) was done in by a four-minute scoreless drought in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs made four turnovers in the span as Handley pulled away for the 14-point victory.
Petties had a great game, scoring 20 points and going a perfect 4 for 4 from 3-point range for Dora. He was named to the Region All-Tournament Team, along with Caleb May, who scored six points. Deionte Smith contributed with 10 points.
Carbon Hill’s Gerald Smith also made the All-Tournament team. Carbon Hill’s Caroline Dodd was named to the girls’ All-Tournament team.