Warhawks work OT for first win

Published 11:53 pm Monday, November 10, 2003

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Although their season was less than a week old, the first two games where they lost by a combined 51 points made it feel a lot longer for the Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks basketball team.
Down by as many as 13 points in the first half of Thursday's home game against Alabama Southern, it looked as if JDCC was headed down that horror path once again.
Instead JDCC cut that gap down to just five points by halftime, forced the game into overtime and eventually pulled out a 100-97 triumph over the Eagles.
"It's still early in the season, but we really needed a win. We're getting ready to enter a difficult part of our schedule and we needed a win from a confidence standpoint and a momentum standpoint," Warhawks coach Allen Gainer said.
Down 38-25 with 6:07 left in the first half, freshman Junior Coleman got JDCC (1-2) back in the game. Coleman, who had 17 points in the game, had nine of those in the remainder of the half. His steal led to an intentional foul and two free throws. Coleman then added another free throw, picked off a second steal and converted it into a dunk, scored off an assist from Randall Burno and hit two more free throws in the final minute of the half to pull JDCC within 46-41.
Alabama Southern (1-2) built much of its lead through perimeter shooting. The Eagles hit four three-pointers in the final 10 minutes of the half and five total for the first half.
JDCC had a tough time against the Eagles' duo of Tikoyo Barnett and Clennon Preyear, who combined for 22 first half points.
While it was Coleman who sparked the Warhawks in the first half, sophomores Greg Dickinson and Brandon Montgomery picked up the slack in the second half. Dickinson poured in 24 of his 33 points in the second half and overtime session, while Montgomery had 14 of his 19 points after half-time.
A basket by Dickinson and three consecutive hoops by Montgomery gave the Warhawks a 49-48 lead, their first advantage since the early moments of the game.
Once JDCC got the lead, it quickly fell into another hole. John Hickenbottom's trey with 12:37 to go capped off a 15-4 run that gave the Eagles another double digit lead of 63-53.
Despite that stretch, the Warhawks played their best defense of the season in the second half. JDCC allowed just 25 points in the second half after it surrendered 263 points in their first five halves this season (an average of 52.6 points per half).
It did not take long for the Warhawks to wipe out Alabama Southern's second double digit lead. Dickinson began a 14-2 run with a three-pointer and ended it with a three-pointer. The second trey gave JDCC a 67-65 edge with 7:09 left.
The Warhawks were able to cling to a narrow cushion until the waning moments of regulation. Down 80-76 with 1:14 left, Alabama Southern pulled within 80-78 after a basket by
Steven Harp.
Burno had a chance to possibly put the game away when he went to the foul line with 17 seocnds to go. Instead he could only hit one of two that bumped the lead up to 81-78.
That left an opening for the Eagles and they came through when Franklin Gilbert buried a three-pointer with 10 seconds left to knot the score at 81-81.
In the extra sesion, Alabama
Southern took a brief lead of 86-83 when James Miller hit a three-pointer. That lead evaporated on JDCC's next possession when Dickinson converted a three-point play to even the score again at 86-86 with 3:40 to go.
Dickinson came up with seveal clutch plays in overtime. He hit two free throws in a 12-second span that put JDCC in front to stay at 88-86. His assist on Burno's basket stretched the lead to 92-87 with 1:33 left. He had another assist on a basket by Montgomery with a minute left that kept the Warhawks up 94-90.
Burno scored off a fastbreak and added a free throw with 26 seconds to go that put JDCC in the driver's seat with a 97-90 lead. Jeff Foster hit three free throws in the final 20 seconds that secured the win.
Alabama So. 46 25 16 – 97
JDCC 41 40 19 – 100
ALABAMA SOUTHERN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Miller 2-5-1-20; Barnett 7-1-2-19; Benton 7-0-1-15; Preyear 4-2-0-14; Steven 2-1-2-9; Hickenbotto 3-1-0-9; Danzy 2-0-0-4; Williams 2-0-0-4; Gilbert 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 29-11-6-97)
JDCC (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Dickinson 8-4-5-33; Montgomery 7-0-5-19; Coleman 6-0-5-17; Foster 4-0-6-14; Burno 3-0-2-8; Thompson 3-0-0-6; Owens 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 31-5-23-100)

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