If anything was more impressive than Joshua Liddell’s net-hanging tomahawk jam or Kabion Ento’s two putback dunks on Tuesday, it was Dollarway’s defense.
Dollarway held Dumas to one field goal in the second quarter, and the Bobcats could not handle the suffocating defense as the Cardinals romped to a 63-39 nonconference victory Tuesday night at Dollarway Fieldhouse.
It wasn’t a bad warmup leading up to Friday’s home game against Pine Bluff for Dollarway (7-1), but coach Ellis Berry said the Cardinals aren’t where they need to be yet.
“We feel real confident, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Berry said. “Our shots are still not falling like I want them to. But as long as the defense is there, that’s fine.”
Liddell had 15 points to lead all scorers, capping off his night with a thunderous dunk over a Dumas defender off an outlet pass from Dequan Christmas. The slam left almost the entire crowd on its feet for about 2 minutes.
Long before that play, Dollarway’s defense stole the show.
Trailing 13-11 after the first quarter, the Cards scored 12 unanswered before a layup with 37 seconds left gave the Bobcats (6-3) their only basket of the period. The Bobcats had numerous turnovers and were not able to regain any offensive rhythm.
“We’re athletic and the coaches always get onto us about defense and defense first,” Liddell said. “If we play defense, that will translate to offense on fast breaks and show our athleticism.”
Despite a 26-15 halftime lead, Dollarway shot only 6 of 19 from the floor, but Dumas converted 5 of 20.
Dumas pulled within 28-21 following four straight points by Dontarius Stovall, but a three-point play by Lamarcus Hawkins and a three-point basket by Liddell kick-started a 15-2 run that made it 43-24. Dumas never got within any closer than 18 points from there, as Dollarway went on to lead by as many as 28.
The Cards shot 18 of 35 from the field and had 10 steals for the game. Ento collected four of those steals, and he and DeAaron Adway each finished with nine points.
“My guards are real inexperienced and we can’t handle pressure right now,” Dumas coach Johnny Hendrix said. “That’s going to be happening to us all year long, but we’re just going to have to learn to deal with it.”
The Bobcats, who hit 10 of 37 from the floor, were led by Tev Buchanan’s 11 points. Stovall added six points and Demarian Freeman pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
“We’re not going to give up on them,” Hendrix said of the Bobcats. “They’re working hard, but they’re not working smart.”