The result was a 10-0 start and a dominant 65-49 victory over Dadeville in the Bulldogs’ opener at the Central Regional Tournament in Montgomery.
After its hot start, Dora never trailed in the game, letting Dadeville get no closer than six points the rest of the way.
“We jumped on them, that’s what we had talked about before the game,” Dora coach Michael Bridges said. “We set the tempo. We wanted to let them know that we deserved to be here — it wasn’t a fluke.”
Now Dora gets a Saturday morning meeting with top-ranked Dallas County for the Class 4A Central Regional title. The game will tip off at 10:30 a.m. from Alabama State’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome.
Dora upset the No. 1-ranked Hornets in the last year’s Central Regional Tournament opener.
Against Dadeville, Bell had the hot hand, connecting on 5-of-6 3-pointers.
“When he’s on — he’s a great shooter,” Bridges said.
In only 16 minutes on the court, the sophomore finished with 19 points.
“I knew after I hit that second (3-pointer) it was going to be a pretty good day. I felt like I couldn’t miss, like the rim was getting bigger,” Bell said.
“It means a lot winning this game. People were doubting us since we lost all five seniors from last year’s team. They didn’t think we could get back here again.”
Petties opened the game with a 3-pointer and a basket on an assist from Logan Roberts. Bell then delivered his first 3-pointer to put Dora up 8-0.
Midway through the first quarter, Bell connected on another long-range bomb to put Dora up 14-2.
Dadeville tried to gain ground on Dora the rest of the way, but never made a serious threat.
“We wanted to come out and bring the intensity from the beginning. Once we did that, we started clicking,” Bell added.
Dora led 17-11 after the opening quarter and pushed its lead to 12 points midway through the quarter after a pair of free throws from Roberts and a Darian Ramsey layup.
Dora led 34-23 at the half with the trio of Petties, Bell and Ramsey scoring 27 points.
The Bulldogs took command of the game early in the third quarter behind Bell, who connected on a 3-pointer for Dora’s first points of the second half. He added a short jumper and Petties followed with a 3-pointer to put Dora up 42-30 at the 4:25 mark.
Dora closed the quarter with a flurry of baskets. Bell added his final 3-pointer and Petties made a pair of driving layups to put the Bulldogs up 54-39 going into the final quarter.
Dora didn’t make a basket in the fourth period, scoring all 11 points at the free throw line.
Petties, who was 8-of-10 from the line, led the team with 24 points and 11 assists, Bell had 19 points, Ramsey had 11 points and Roberts added six.
For Dadeville, which outrebounded Dora 43-30, Malik Tolbert was the only player to score in double figures with 12 points.
Dora forced 20 turnovers in the game and had six steals. The Bulldogs made 24-of-40 from the free throw line while Dadeville made just 7-of-10.
Dallas County advanced to Saturday’s regional final with a 50-40 victory over Bibb County. The game was tied 35-35 after three quarters.
The Hornets (27-3) are led by a pair of 6-foot-9 players, William Lee and Lowell
Furlow. Dallas County relies on its half-court offense and its size in the paint.
“They’re big. We’ve got to try to keep them out of their half-court set. We’re going to have to use our running game to our advantage,” Bridges said.