Guest post by Kayla Moore, Bluegrass Basketball
It has arrived: the KHSAA Sweet 16 Championship game. The Final Four was a valiant battle between NewCath and Dunbar, then South Laurel and Doss. The Lexington and Louisville teams prevailed and now we have a Sunday matchup between the Bulldogs and the Tigers. What type of game should we expect?
The Down-low on Dunbar:
I have said it all along – Dunbar has faced the toughest schedule in the state this season. They’ve taken down formidable foes in the 43rd District – a very tough LexCath and Lafayette – then made a run through their region like they had a point to prove. Dunbar has been down by double digits in several post season games but never gave up. Their largest deficit was 16 to Bowling Green in which Taveion Hollingsworth locked in and carried his team out of the hole and into another Sweet 16 victory. We cannot give all the credit to one player, though, as Dunbar has a cast of kids that operate much like a well-oiled machine, and Jordan Lewis is at the wheel. Lewis makes this team go and has committed only one turnover in 73 solid minutes of Sweet Sixteen play. Darius Miller is an 11th Region Player-of-the-Year that you can always go to for a basket, and quietly, Justin Kelley is waiting for the outlet pass to stroke a three pointer, where he’s shooting roughly 50%. Then there’s Dontell Brown, a Junior big man is a force to be reckoned with. He’s the team’s leading rebounder and creates defensive stops down low. Brown is to be given a lot of credit for the Sweet Sixteen run the Bulldogs have had because simply no one has had an answer for his size or abilities.
The Dirt on Doss:
Doss has a mastermind of a coach at the helm – former Louisville star and Euro Pro Tony Williams. He has coached his team into impressive accuracy (70%+ in the Sweet Sixteen) from the free throw line. He has kids with a lot of length and stressed the necessity of being active on defense and rebounding. Doss has a stellar Forward in Jaylon Hall, who is always good for double digit scoring and numerous rebounds. The defensive end of the Dragons will be hard to get past, they have a full court press that has proven tough and a signature 3-2 zone that stopped a very strong Taylor County, and a very good Quentin Goodin, on Thursday. Thus far in the tournament, Doss has out-rebounded every opponent they’ve met in the tournament, some by 10+. According to Bluegrass Preps’ Jason Alexander, the Dragons have the state’s best kept secret in Shawn Knight-Goff, who is strong both offensively and defensively in the paint – his 13 rebounds and 5 blocks against Taylor County definitely prove that point. We have all slept on Doss in this tournament, each game counting them out. I believe it is time to wake up.
So how will these teams match up? They have similar fast-paced playing styles, similar sized guards and forwards; they almost mirror one another in offensive percentages. I think this game will boil down to two things: 1. Whether or not Dontell Brown can be kept off the boards and 2. Who commits the most turnovers. Dunbar has done a bang-up job on forcing turnovers and converting those into points.
Today, it is anybody’s game and it is sure to be exciting. See you there!
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