Dora puts up 106 points in state quarterfinal win: Falcons in final four again
This story is reprinted with permission from OzarksSportsZone.com.
The Dora Falcons are heading to the Final Four.
After leading by just three at the end of the first, the Falcons raced to a 106-70 win over the Delta Bobcats Saturday afternoon.
“That was crazy,” said Dora head coach Rick Luna.
“The style they play, you have to be in attack mode,” he added. “I don’t know how many possessions there were that game, but there were a lot of possessions. It kind of fit into our style because we want to run – maybe not to that extent – but I felt my guards handled that pressure well.”
Luna said his team adjusted to Delta’s style after a quarter of play.
“It’s hard to simulate that, kind of like it is hard to simulate what we do, so once we got used to it we executed our game plan. We just had to get through that first run.”
Junior guard Isaac Haney led the team with 40 points as one of five Falcons in double scoring figures.
“It’s very important to us to make sure everybody is clicking,” said Haney. “If we’re all on the same page it’s hard to beat us, but sometimes that’s not the case. We have to make sure we stay together and help each other out.”
“Isaac is going to be Isaac, and any of the rest of them are capable of putting up 20 on any night,” said Coach Luna. “They’ve played together so much and for so long they know where each other is at, they know the system, they believe in the system and they’ve done a great job.”
Delta averaged 95.3 points per game going into this contest, compared with Dora’s 79.4 ppg. The Falcons had hit 100-plus points in two prior games this season.
“That’s not anything that we shoot for, but (Delta) just kept running,” said Coach Luna of his team’s score. “And when a team keeps running, you keep attacking. I think they had scored 100 fifteen times this year, and you can see why with the style they play.”
Haney opened the contest with a connection from downtown, his signature shot, and the Falcons quickly secured an eight-point lead before picking up four fouls. Delta made a run underneath the basket to come within three at the end of the quarter, 22-19.
The Bobcats made it a one-point contest to open the second frame, but an Auston Luna bucket and back-to-back Haney threes plus a jumper put Dora in control again. A Mason Luna steal led to another Haney score, and Waylon Masters added consecutive layups underneath. Auston and Bryson Luna and Haney also combined for seven points from the charity stripe in the quarter. Dora led 57-39 at the half.
Haney put on a clinic in the third, putting up 12 points from behind the arc as well as two buckets and a free throw. Bryson Luna added 9 in the frame, and the Falcons led 90-65 to close the quarter.
Eight of the Falcons’ 16 fourth-quarter points came from Waylon Masters as Dora held Delta to just five points.
The victory will now send the Falcons to face a familiar Final Four foe: The Jefferson Eagles.
“We’ve said all year that is where we’d like to get back to, but to actually do it is another thing,” said Haney on advancing in the state tournament. “I feel we work extremely hard as a team…what people don’t see off the court is how close we are and how hard we work, and this is just kind of a reflection of that, so we’re proud of it.”
Last year, the Falcons placed second in Class 1 with a 10-point loss to Jefferson.
“Now that we’ve been there, we can bring more of a calm,” said Haney. “A rematch this early will be good, maybe not as much pressure as in the state championship game and we can get another crack at them. What’s important right now is that we go back in the gym and we focus day by day in practice and don’t get off track with this victory or start patting ourselves on the back. We’ve got to stay grounded.”
Coach Luna said his team is anxious to face the Eagles again. “(Jefferson) shot the ball like 76 percent from the field last year, it was crazy, and I had guys get into foul trouble and we still made a run at them late,” he said. “They’re a great ball team and that’s why they’re back, and any time we can match up with them again that’s what we want. I feel like the guys will be ready with the schedule we’ve played. That’s why we play such a tough schedule all year, to get these guys ready for this.”
The Falcons will take on Jefferson (Conception) at JQH on Thursday, March 12 at 6:50 pm.
Scoring for Dora: Isaac Haney, 40; Bryson Luna, 19; Mason Luna, 17; Waylon Masters, 16; Auston Luna, 10; Landon Luna, 2; Bo Collins, 2.
Scoring for Delta: Eric Berry, 18; Isaiah Thomas, 13; Grant Coomer, 11; Colby Crader, 10; Jonathan Bond, 10; Dale Lincoln, 6; and Evan Bartels, 2.
Class 1 state semifinals
Thursday, March 12
Dora Falcons (30-2)
Golden City (27-2)
St. Elizabeth (24-5)
Class 1 state championship game
Friday, March 13
All games at JQH Arena, 685 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway Springfield, Missouri