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Basketball: Dodd City holds off Slidell – Lady Hounds’ run ends in region final

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017
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Colliding Forces

COLLIDING FORCES – Slidell’s Aurora DeLuna and Sam Rambsel collide going for a loose ball during the Lady Greyhounds’ loss to Dodd City Saturday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

After a slow start, the Slidell Lady Greyhounds shot their way out of an early hole and back into the game Saturday afternoon.

But second-ranked Dodd City’s size inside with the 6-1 Olivia and 6-foot Fallon Hilliard proved too much to overcome. The Hilliards combined for 26 points and 10 rebounds in leading Dodd City to the 53-38 victory over Slidell in the Class A Region III final at Mansfield High School.

“Defensively, we don’t have the size to compete with that,” said Slidell coach Lance Shelton. “The girls mixed it up well. Considering that Huckaby beat us by 10 and they beat Huckaby by 30, we’re probably a 30-40-point underdog. But with two minutes to go, we were still right there.”

Dodd City earns a trip to San Antonio and the University Interscholastic League state basketball tournament.

The loss ends Slidell’s season at 29-4. It was the third straight year that Dodd City knocked Slidell out of the playoffs.

“There’s no place I’d rather be,” Shelton said. “I wouldn’t want to be in that other locker room.”

The Lady Greyhounds struggled to keep a handle on the ball early, committing 10 turnovers in the first seven minutes. Slidell committed 25 turnovers in the game.

Falling behind by nine in the first quarter, 12-3, Slidell rallied with its perimeter shooting to pull within one, 21-20, with 2:33 left in first half. The Lady Greyhounds hit four 3-pointers – two from Kayler Talamantes – during a 12-2 run.

“We knew we had to get up as many shots up as we could. We shot really well,” Talamantes said.

In her final game, Talamantes hit five 3s and finished with 15 points.

“That was awesome for her. We’ll miss her next year,” Shelton said. “She’s a senior that can shoot the ball and played four years on varsity.”

Slidell hit 11 3-pointers and shot 39 percent (11-for-28) on the perimeter.

“We were going to have to hit a lot of 3s,” Shelton said. “We had to drive and kick. We were going to have to have wide-open layups to make anything [inside] against their size. Offensively, the whole game plan was to get it in there, kick it and shoot it.”

Dodd City built some breathing room going into halftime with a 3-pointer and layup off a steal by Lindsay Carter in the final 31 seconds of the half to put the Lady Hornets up, 28-20.

“The five points right before half hurt us,” Shelton said.

Slidell trailed by 10, 39-29, going into the fourth. Talamantes opened the final frame with a trey to pull the Lady Greyhounds within seven. They couldn’t get closer as Olivia Hilliard helped put the game away with eight points down the stretch – six inside for layups. She finished with a game-high 18.

Slidell reached the final by making an improbable comeback in the region semifinal Friday night.

The Lady Greyhounds ended the game on a 14-0 run to pull off the 35-30 victory over defending state champion Lipan.

Slidell trailed Lipan most of the game with both teams struggling to score. Lipan led 16-9 at halftime, closing the first half on a 7-0 run.

Lipan carried a 24-19 lead into the fourth quarter. Slidell was down 30-21 when Talamantes started the comeback with a 3-pointer. Bailey Meyer followed with another trey to get the deficit down to three.

Strong Season

STRONG SEASON – The Slidell Lady Greyhounds finished the season 29-4 and reached the Class A Region III final. The team celebrated with a sign in memory of late assistant Dennis Stroud. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

DODD CITY 53, SLIDELL 38

Dodd City … 14 … 14 … 11 … 14 … – … 53
Slidell … 8 … 12 … 9 … 9 … – … 38

DODD CITY – Lindsay Carter 15, Paige Granstaff 3, Olivia Hilliard 18, Fallon Hilliard 8, Abby Weeks 9.

SLIDELL (29-4) – Kayler Talamantes 15, Bailey Meyer 7, Sam Rambsel 3, Aurora DeLuna 8, Cate Zuniga 5.

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