CORNER — Austin Sanford and Blake Byrd had big nights, but the duo wasn't enough for Corner as Dora prevailed by a 56-52 score Friday, in front of a raucous near-capacity crowd at the Yellow Jackets' home gym.
Sanford was the key in the low post, scoring nearly every time he was able to get the ball in close. He finished with 20 points. Similarly, Byrd was hot from outside, scoring a 3-pointer in each of the four quarter on his way to 18 points.
But it was Zac Pate's trey from the corner with :39.2 to go that closed the Bulldog lead to three points, giving the Jackets new life.
Corner caught a break a short time later, as Byrd's 3-point attempt bounced high and was whistled for apparently hitting a support cable above the backboard. But after a short conference the officials agreed to disagree about the call, and instead went to the alternating-possession arrow, which favored the Jackets.
However, Byrd's rushed 3-pointer fell short, and he was forced to foul the Bulldogs' Kenton Petties, who hit two free throws.
Byrd came back to sink a three from the top of the Key with :04.9 left, after which coach Billy Conner called his last time out.
On the ensuing play, the Jackets fouled DeAngelo Pendleton who missed both foul shots, but Dieonte Smith came away with the rebound. He was fouled immediately, and hit both free throws to ice the game.
Pendleton led Dora with 17 points. Caleb May, better known as the the Bulldogs' celebrated football player, scored 14.
Part of Corner's down fall was a poor night at the foul line. Dora with its constant pressure, tends to foul a lot, but the Jackets hit just 5-of-12 at the charity stripe (41 percent), as Conner noted.
"We played hard, we just threw it away too many times and missed too many free throws down they stretch," Conner said. "We knew they didn't have anyone who could stop [Sanford], but we just couldn't get it to him enough, especially in the first half."
Corner hosts Oak Grove Tuesday night.