Dora rides first-half lead to victory

Dora forward Casey O’Connor shoots a jumper over the defense of Farwell post Cotton Sudderth in the first quarter of Friday’s game at Dora. O’Connor had 10 points in Dora’s 65-47 win. (Freedom Newspapers: Kevin Wilson)

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers

DORA — The final 4:37 without scoring. Nineteen Coyote turnovers. All in all, it looked like a first half the Dora Coyotes would like to have forgotten.

Except for the 15-point lead at the half, that is.

Dora had a bad showing in the turnover department with 32 in all, but dominated pretty much every other statistic and held off a Farwell Steers mini-rally to post a 65-47 victory Friday night at Guy Luscombe Gymnasium.

Tyler Wilhoit scored 20 to lead four in double figures for the Coyotes (8-3), who started the second quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 28-8 lead.

“We were just more pumped up this game,” said Wilhoit. “We haven’t played a home game in so long (Nov. 18 season opener). We were mentally ready.”

The teams mostly traded baskets in the second half, allowing the Coyotes to post a comfortable win.

Dora, which got 12 points from Clay Smith and 11 from Austin Prewett, shot 55.2 percent (23-of-45) for the night and never trailed.

“I think the difference in the game, giving us the spread that we had,” Dora coach Ty Thatcher said, “was we shot the ball well from the free throw line and they struggled at times.”

Actually, the Steers struggled all night with 22.7 percent shooting (15-of-66) shooting, including a 3-for-19 effort from the 3-point line.

Those statistics didn’t shock Farwell coach Clint Conklin, who admitted that his team’s pressing nature is by necessity and usually becomes an all-or-nothing proposition.

“We haven’t shot the ball well this year,” Conklin said. “We don’t have great 3-point shooting, and we’re not big enough to take it inside.

“We have to get layups and steals off the press to score, and we didn’t do that tonight.”

The press paid off somewhat for the Steers (6-8), as they cut the lead to 50-39 with three minutes left, but Wilhoit scored the game’s next six points to hold off the comeback attempt.

When the press didn’t work for Farwell, it paid off for Dora in the form of fast-break layups.

“We did create several of those fast-break opportunities when we broke out of the press. I guess that’s a compromise you have (when you have so many turnovers).”

Farwell 68, Dora 37

The Lady Blue broke open a relatively close game, outscoring the host Lady Coyotes 43-19 in the second half.

Brooke Lunsford scored 16 to lead four in double figures for Farwell (7-7), which is getting set to face Snyder in the Littlefield tournament. Snyder is ranked No. 12 in Class 3A, according to Farwell coach Doug Boyd.

“We started playing a little bit better in the second half,” Boyd said. “We didn’t have a game Tuesday night and you could tell. But they turned it on in the end and that’s what counts.”

Salida Edwards scored 15 for Farwell, while Britton Barrett scored 12 and Dellani Jones added 10. Rana Terry scored 11 points, while Kelsey McKinney added nine for Dora (0-9), which is idle until Dec. 30 against Grady.