GREENVILLE — Dorman was down deep in the second half of Friday’s Upper State Class 4A Championship against Dutch Fork, but just when it appeared the Cavaliers were a goner they put on one heck of a final run.
But the Silver Foxes recovered enough over the final 1:10 to escape with a 53-46 victory that had appeared well in hand as the third quarter closed.
Dorman dug itself a hole with a four-point second quarter and then trailed by as many as 16 with 1:50 left in the third when the Cavaliers got right.
They closed the third with a 7-0 run and then a 12-3 run late in the fourth cut the deficit to one. Akeria Shands converted a 3-point play before Terrika Foster buried a deep 3-pointer from the corner and then drove hard to the basket for a slashing layup to make it 46-45. But turnovers halted the momentum and the Silver Foxes held on.
The Cavaliers’ offense struggled mightily even as the score was tied 14-14 after one quarter and the Silver Foxes led 26-18 at halftime. Dorman junior Kenya Olley scored 16 of Dorman’s first-half points and finished with a game-high 24. She also had to defend 6-foot-4 Alaina Coates, who did big-time work in the post with 23 points.
“That was a good competition going against her because she’s so big and strong,” Olley said. “We put in a lot of hard work to get here and we’re all so upset because we thought we had it. I’m still proud of the team for everything we did and I love all of my teammates.”
Coach Valorie Whiteside complimented Dutch Fork’s defensive gameplan as the Foxes had success with their 1-3-1 press that never allowed Dorman to find fluidity.
As for Olley’s effort, Whiteside implored the remaining Cavaliers at halftime to lend more of a hand to their post player.
“She needed help,” Whiteside said. “We had to have others step up and help her out. There were times when Kenya was so surrounded by Dutch Fork players it seemed like 10 instead of just four or five.”