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Miners fall to end season

February 23, 2012

Junior Tyler Hill goes up for a layup in a game earlier in the season. The Bauxite Miners dropped a 61-35 decision to the Pine Bluff Dollarway Cardinals to end their season. BOB MCADORY/Special to the Courier

DUMAS – The Bauxite Miners knew Wednesday’s task of facing the No. 1 seed Pine Bluff Dollarway wasn’t going to be easy. What they didn’t know was how unlikely the first quarter of their 61-35 season-ending loss would be.

“I would like to take back the first quarter,” said head coach Mark Smith. “Our deal is we don’t have the ability to offensive rebound.”

Smith said his team’s lack of size also prevents the Miners (14-15) from keeping their opponents from offensive rebounding and it’s been a problem all season.

“I think if you look back,” Smith said, “and look at the first shot being contested and not going in, but it’s the second and third opportunities that have cut our throat.”

Despite being in such a huge deficit, the Miners didn’t stop playing. In fact, they played a little better and cut the Cardinals’ lead to single digits to 31-22 thanks to some potent outside shooting.

The most potent shooting hand came from senior Cody McPhereson who hit four big shots that totaled eight of his team-high 18 points. Three-pointers from Tyler Hill and Hunter Holder also helped the comeback.

But the comeback fell short late in the third quarter when the Cardinals managed to push their lead back to 15 points and then tacked on 20 more points in the fourth to pull away.

Dollarway was balanced most of the way including six who scored points in the decisive fourth quarter. The Cardinals were led by Jamaal Burton with 15 and Devone Chapman had 10, six in the fourth quarter.

Smith wasn’t particularly pleased with how his team’s final game transpired, but showed a certain satisfaction when gleaming about his club’s season.

“We were a fourth seed. We didn’t back into this. We didn’t upset people in the district to get here,” Smith said. “We deserve to be here.”

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