• 88°

Bulldogs heading to the Final Four

MONTGOMERY, AL – Pike County High overcame a six-point, third-quarter deficit to take the lead and defeat Dadeville 51-40 Wednesday afternoon in the championship game of the AHSAA Class 3A Boys Southeast Regional in Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum.

PCHS, improving to 22-6 on the year, will travel to Birmingham next Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10:30 a.m., in the Final Four at the BJCC to take on Hanceville.

Head Coach Doug Holland was relieved that his Bulldogs will return to Birmingham, their second visit ever, having last been in 2016.

“It felt like we have not been there in 20 years,” said Coach Holland. “You fight so hard to get back there. You talk to a lot of coaches who never get back there. So having an opportunity, you want to thank God first of all, and let the kids enjoy because the kids worked hard to get here.”

The Bulldogs took a 9-4 first-quarter lead and led by as much as seven in the beginning moments of the second period when Omar Cumberbatch hit two free throws for an 11-4 lead.

Dadeville, ending the year at 19-8, cut the lead to 13-11 with 2:44 to go in the first half on a free throw by Randiez Eason, but PCHS got a layup from tournament MVP Andres Burney, free throws by Ian Foster and Jordan Hobdy for a 19-14 halftime lead.

The Tigers took the lead at 20-19 in the third quarter on a layup by Jhymias Patrick and extended the lead to six points on a three-pointer by Thomas McKinley at 29-23 with 2:32 to go in the third period.

PCHS chipped away in the early minutes of the fourth quarter, with Burney tying the score at 33-33 with 6:40 to go in the contest on a free throw, and the Bulldogs took the lead for good 12 seconds later when Jordan Hobdy hit a layup for a 35-33 advantage.

Ian Foster hit a layup with 2:06 to go in the contest for a seven-point, 44-37 lead, Burney hit two free throws to go up 46-37, and Foster hit two more foul shots for a 49-37 advantage with 0:35 to go in the game.

Foster hit another layup to put the Bulldogs up 51-37 with 0:20 to play, and Dadeville’s DaQuan Doss hit a three-pointer with only 12 seconds to play for the 51-40 final.

Named to the Class 3A All-Southeast Region Tournament Team for Pike County included Jordan Hobdy, Cumberbatch and Burney.

Burney, a 6-8 senior center, finished the contest with 17 points and 17 rebounds while blocking five shots. Foster added 13 total points while Cumberbatch added six, Markelis Hobdy six, Jordan Hobdy five and Amaghie Lampley scored four points.

Dadeville was led by Patrick with 16 points, while their big man, Eason, had nine points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

Coach Holland said this season has had its trials, not just on the basketball court, but off as well.

“We played a hard-fought game today that could have gone either way the last three minutes,” said Coach Holland. “We worked hard to get to this point. It has been an up and down season. We had a good season but it was more than just about basketball as we lost a player on the way, (Reginald Edwards), so it kind of helped us to reset, and it helped us to appreciate life and the time that you have with people.”

PCHS will take on Hanceville, a 56-54 winner over Midfield Wednesday, in the Final Four on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10:30 a.m. at the BJCC in Birmingham.