Joshua Liddell of Dollarway brings the ball up the court against Tevin Brown of Watson Chapel on Friday night at McFadden Gymnasium. (Special to The Commercial/Mike Adam)
Dollarway assistant coach Booker Mays gave his team a title after their Friday game in the Zebra Invitational — city champions.
Coming off an overtime victory over former conference rival Dumas, Dollarway improved to 2-0 in the Pine Bluff High-hosted event with a 46-39 victory over reeling Watson Chapel. That gave the Cardinals a 3-0 season sweep of their greater-Pine Bluff rivals.
It’s also the 10th straight win overall for Dollarway (10-1). And to coach Ellis Berry, it couldn’t be more satisfying.
“It means a whole lot to me, the coaching staff and our players,” Berry said. “To go through and play all three of them — you know we don’t play but one of them on a regular basis, and that’s Pine Bluff — but to beat Chapel and White Hall, that’s tremendous.”
The Cardinals beat Pine Bluff 53-51 at home a week earlier and blew out White Hall at a tournament in Fordyce about a month ago.
Dollarway outrebounded Watson Chapel 28-18 and held the Wildcats (4-7) to one field goal during a 10-2 run in the final 5:17. DeAaron Adway scored on two putbacks to spark the Cardinals’ rally, finishing with seven points.
Both teams had 10 rebounds in the first half.
“At first they were getting their points on rebounds, second rebounds,” Dollarway forward Davonne Chapman said of the Wildcats. “We had to come out and box out and hold them on defense.”
Chapman scored 12 points and had seven rebounds to lead Dollarway, which struggled from the free-throw line (11 of 21). Ben Marcus led Watson Chapel with a near double-double of 12 points and nine rebounds, and Jalen Courtney added 10 points.
After the first quarter, it seemed Watson Chapel would dictate the pace of the game, jumping to a 22-13 lead against a team recovering from a 46-44 overtime clash against Dumas a day earlier.
But the Wildcats went cold from the field in the second quarter as the Cardinals switched from man-to-man defense to a zone. The Wildcats still hung on to a 25-21 halftime lead.
“They didn’t do anything we’ve not seen before,” Wildcats coach Matt Busch said. “C.J. (Robinson) was very cold. He took a lot of shots.”
Watson Chapel was 1 for 17 from three-point range and 14 for 47 from the field for the game. The Wildcats went 6 for 10 from the free-throw line, missing all three second-half attempts.
Dollarway went 0 for 8 from the arc and 18 for 45 from the field.
Chapman scored on two straight baskets to give Dollarway a 35-33 edge late in the third quarter, its first lead since 13-12. Watson Chapel last led 37-36 after Courtney scored as he was fouled with 5:17 remaining.
Marcus was fouled on a putback with 38 seconds left, drawing Watson Chapel within 43-39, but that’s as close as the Wildcats would come.
Lamarcus Hawkins and Kabion Ento each scored eight points for Dollarway. Ento also collected five rebounds and three steals, while Joshua Liddell added eight rebounds.
Dollarway will go for an unbeaten record in the Zebra Invitational at 3 p.m. today, when it takes on Tulsa (Okla.) McLain. That will be followed by Watson Chapel’s attempt to end a three-game losing streak when it faces Dumas.
“We’ve got ways of turning it around,” Busch said. “We know what they are, and we’re going to have to continue to work on them. It’s not any glaring thing. You can’t throw the ball away, you can’t let somebody outrebound you, and the only way to work on that is to work smarter.”
Dumas 51, Brinkley 39
In Friday’s first game of the Invitational, the Bobcats pulled away after leading just 33-31 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Dontarius Stovall scored 16 points and Martavian Ward had 14 to lead the Bobcats.
Brinkley played its first game in the invitational after icy roads prevented the Tigers from making the trip to Pine Bluff on Thursday. Brinkley will take on the tournament host in tonight’s nightcap.