Cards Pull It Out: Dollarway escapes after frenzied final minute

Dollarway rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit and made 7 of 10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to defeat Little Rock Mills 46-43 Saturday on the second day of the Zebra Invitational at McFadden Gymnasium.

“We played a whole lot better today,” Dollarway head coach Ellis “Chief” Berry said. “Yesterday we didn’t play well and today we came back and everybody played well.

“Especially going up against a good team like Mills.”

With less than a minute left to play, senior Kabion Ento stole an inbound pass and converted the basket underneath the goal to give the Cardinals (1-1) a 41-40 lead.

Dollarway extended its lead to 42-40 after Ento made 1 of 2 from the free throw line.

Mills hit a three-pointer on its next possession to take a 43-42 lead. Dollarway retook the lead for the final time on a pair of free throws made by Gujuan Christmas with 27 seconds left.

A traveling violation gave Dollarway the ball back and Christmas hit another set of free throws with 9 seconds left to give the Cardinals the 46-43 edge.

“We got the kinks out, got the nerves out,” Berry said. “We handled the ball a little bit better.

“We missed a ton of free throws, but other than that we were relaxed and just played our kind of ball.”

Dollarway was 13 of 26 from the free throw line in the game.

“We missed them early but late – when it counted – we made them,” Berry said.

With 3:08 left in the third quarter, Mills took a 34-28 lead following a pair of free throws. Ento cut the deficit to five points with a minute remaining and senior Joshua Liddell scored to get the Cardinals within three.

Right before the end of the quarter, junior Travon King hit a three-pointer right in front of his team’s bench to tie the game at 34.

“That junior that hit that big three to tie, that was huge too,” Berry said. “I knew he could hit it, but I didn’t expect that one.”

Trailing by three with less than 3 minutes left in the game, Ento came up with a steal and would later nail a three-pointer to tie the game at 39. Ento, who was recently named the Southeast Arkansas Defensive Player of the Year for football, led the Cardinals with 13 points.

Darius Robinson and Liddell scored nine points each.

“The seniors picked it up for us,” Berry said.

Dollarway will wrap-up the Invitational with a game against rival Pine Bluff at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Clarendon 71,

Dumas 49

Clarendon is now one game away from being crowned the champion of the Zebra Invitational following a lopsided victory over Dumas in the second round on Saturday at McFadden Gymnasium.

Junior Richard Knox scored 26 points and junior Styleen Tyler had 21 points for the Lions as they moved to 2-0 in the tournament. If they defeat Little Rock McClellan, which is also undefeated in the tournament, the Lions will be crowned tourney champs.

James Spinks led Dumas with 14 points and Ken Madden contributed with 13 points.