The Daleville Warhawks closed out the regular season with three games last week and all three games were decided by three points or less with two going into overtime.
First up, the Warhawks dropped an 81-78 double overtime nail-biter to Slocomb at home on Jan. 28.
After slugging it out to a 72-72 tie at the end of the first overtime, Slocomb won the second overtime period 9-6 to pick up the win.
Free throws – which have plagued Daleville all year – were the biggest factor in the game as the Warhawks struggled to hit 24-of-42 free throw attempts, while Slocomb went an efficient 28-of-39 from the charity stripe.
Daleville was led by sophomore Tomar Hobdy with a career-high 30 points, while junior Sincere McKenzie scored 17 points and fellow junior Peanut Bloodsaw added 13 points.
The Warhawks followed that up with a 57-55 road loss to Carroll on Jan. 31. Senior Melvin Matthews had his third double-double in a two week span with 16 points and 13 rebounds in the loss, while Hobdy added 13 points.
Bloodsaw also grabbed six rebounds and Cam Giles added 10 points.
“I thought we played the best game of the year against Carroll but we just came up short at the end,” Daleville coach Blake Garner said. “Offensively and defensively I thought we played really well and played with a lot of energy.”
Daleville was able to bounce back and close out the regular season with a 66-65 overtime win on the road at Houston Academy.
Houston Academy was able to force the overtime after knotting the score up 59-59 after knocking down a shot at the buzzer at the end of the fourth quarter.
In the overtime period, Hobdy drilled a three-pointer with under a minute remaining to secure the 66-65 win.
Hobdy led Daleville again with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Matthews had his fourth double-double in two weeks with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Matthews has hit double digits in rebounds in six consecutive games.
“Melvin is one of those players that can guard anyone from a point guard all the way down to a center,” Garner said. “He’s an unbelievable athlete and has been a tremendous rebounder for us.”
Cam Giles chipped in with 12 points, while Bloodsaw had nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. McKenzie added eight points and five assists, while Bryan Beckwith had nine points.
The Warhawks did battle with Cottonwoon in the opening round of the Class 2A, Area 3 Tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 4 in Hartford.
“The first game is win or go home and they have to play with that type of attitude defensively,” Garner said. “In the last five or six games we haven’t played very well offensively in some of those games and we’ll have to play well on both sides (to win).”