Dora Falcons take second at Class 1 state tournament, end season 30-2
The Dora Falcons brought home the Class 1 second-place trophy after Saturday’s battle with the Jefferson Eagles at JQH Arena in Springfield. Dora’s relentless defense kept the score close, and the Falcons came from behind and drew even at one point, tying it at 40-all.
“They came out in the third and jumped right back on us pushing their lead back up,” said coach Rick Luna. “I had Haney and Mason in foul trouble, so that limited what we could do defensively. We couldn’t be as aggressive as we usually are. We made another run late to pull within 5 points, but it just wasn’t our day.
“What most people don’t realize is Jefferson played nearly a perfect game. They only missed 7 shots for the entire game. That stat alone is unheard-of. For us to be as close as we were, playing against a team that was just simply ‘hot’ says a lot for my guys. They never gave up and kept fighting till the last buzzer. I couldn’t be more proud of these 16 young men for what they have accomplished,” he said.
Midway through the fourth quarter, leading scorers Isaac Haney and Mason Luna fouled out, and although the Falcons rallied to within 5 points in the final minute, Dora eventually fell to Jefferson, 75-65.
Haney and Mason Luna finished with 18 points. Bryson Luna scored 16, Auston Luna 10, Kyle Hambelton 2 and Waylon Masters 1.
“Second place wasn’t the goal we set out for, but the boys had a great season. They won all three tournaments they were in, set a school record with 30 wins, made it further than any other team in school history, and along the way picked up a lot of incredible fans,” said Luna “The team and I want to thank everyone for traveling to our games and supporting us. In districts we played in front of standing-room-only at Cabool, then in Mountain Grove to a huge crowd, and then at Van Buren where it was standing-room-only again. At Springfield we played in front of five to six thousand people each day, and our fans were shining through. Heck, we had grown men dress up as mascots throwing rally towels out to the crowd.That, in itself, was pretty special. The boys absolutely think we have some of the best fans around. They’ve received many, many texts and phone calls from our fans, along with fans from surrounding school districts, congratulating them and telling them how fun they are to watch. Little kids would come up to them and want to take pictures with them. The boys will always remember the game, but they will also always remember how much support they had along this incredible ride,” Luna said.
Luna and the team extended special thanks to Billy Buckwater of Billy’s Frame and Collision, Russ Gant of Mega Motor Sports, Terry Newton of Shelter Insurance, Doug Collins of Collins Trucking, the Dora Booster Club, First Home Bank, Kristin Lowther of Missouri Embroidery and Karla Smith Photography.