Bobby Miller was part of the 2006 state championship basketball team under head coach Ellis Berry.
Therefore, after his younger brother Tabarres, 17, passed away Wednesday night during a pickup basketball game inside the Dollarway Gymnasium, the Cardinals decided to dedicate the rest of the season to the memory of Tabarres.
“We wanted to make sure we got these last two games for Tabarres Miller, who is a big part of this team,” Berry said. “Even though he didn’t play basketball, he is a big part of this team because he and his family is at the ballgames.
“I know the family real personally, and we wanted to win it for him.”
Dollarway defeated Batesville Southside 58-39 Friday night.
“(Tabarres’) brother played for me,” Berry said. “That’s why I was so close with his family.
“It really is a hurting situation for me.”
Using traps and full-court defensive pressure, the Cardinals held the Southerners to just four points in the second quarter as they forced 20 first-half turnovers and led 40-13 at halftime.
“It has been a long week,” Berry said. “… The kids had to overcome a lot of things this week.
“But that’s our trademark is our defense. That is something we’ve been working on all year.”
In Thursday’s 57-45 win over Newport, Dollarway (9-2, 7-1 in 2-4A) forced 29 turnovers. On Friday, Dollarway forced Southside (3-11, 1-7) to turn it over 30 times.
“I don’t know how many we got tonight,” Berry said. “But that’s what we do.
“We trap them and we play full-court defense.”
Travon King, who was filling in for an absent Joshua Liddell, scored six of his eight points in the first quarter as the Cardinals had a 18-9 lead heading into the second period.
“I told him in the dressing room, that he needed to step up and step up big,” Berry said. “That’s what he do, he can play a little better than that but that was good tonight for him.”
Liddell was visiting Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas for a football-recruiting trip.
“We played without Liddell in another ballgame,” Berry said. “I hope this is his last recruiting trip because he is a very important part of this program.”
Dollarway was 21 of 49 from the floor Friday night and outrebounded Southside 25 to 16. The Cardinals were also 7 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Senior Kabion Ento led the Cardinals with 10 points, while Darius Robinson and Gujuan Christmas both chipped in with six.
Dollarway scored just two points in the third quarter but by then the Cardinals had benched the majority of its starters.
“We had a bunch of sophomores and juniors out there,” Berry said. “It is hard for them to keep focus on what we are doing but they are learning.
“They are going to be a key part of this team on down the stretch.”
Dollarway’s only bucket of the third quarter was an alley-oop dunk to Ento with about 4:47 left in the period. It pushed Dollarway’s lead to 42-19.
“That was a good win and they got a lot of playing time that helped us a whole lot,” Berry said.
For the Southerners, sophomore Braden Mead scored a team-hig nine points and senior Myles Hooper contributed with five.
Batesville Southside 44, Dollarway 33
The Lady Southerners trailed by two going into the fourth quarter, but they outscored the Lady Cardinals 18-5 in the final period to win 44-33 inside the Dollarway Gymnasium Friday night.
McKenzie King led Batesville Southside (9-10, 4-4 in 2-4A) with a game-high 23 points.
Jayana Sanders led Dollarway (1-8, 1-7) with 18 points.