Dora triumphs over defending state champion Eminence to take Class 1 District 3 title
The Dora Falcons beat defending state champion Eminence Redwings 64-59 Friday, Feb. 23, to win the Class 1 District 3 championship. “I’m super proud of my team’s effort,” said Dora head coach Rick Luna. “Going up against the defending state champs was no easy task.”
The win marks back-to-back district titles for the young Dora team, whose starting lineup is made up of sophomores who hold a new school record for number of wins in a season with their overall record of 27-1.
Eminence, which defeated Dora in last year’s sectionals and went on to win the 2018 Class 1 state championship, jumped out to an early 20-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. “They did a great job spreading us out in our zone,” Luna said. “We started the second quarter in a man defense and tried to put more pressure on them.”
It worked. Dora came back and grabbed a 34-31 lead at the half behind Isaac Haney’s 23 first-half points. “The third quarter, we built our lead up to 9 but let it slip away right at the end of the quarter,” Luna said. “We didn’t do a good job executing once we got the lead. We were playing like we were 9 points down versus playing like we were 9 points in the lead.”
The Falcons and Redwings were tied up at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Mason Luna drained a 3-pointer from the corner, and from there, the Falcons never looked back. Eminence made another run late in the game, but Auston Luna took a charge under the basket to get the ball back for the Falcons. “Bryson Luna went 4 of 4 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, and Kyle Hambelton had 6 huge points off the bench,” Luna said.
Isaac Haney was the game-high scorer with 38 points. Mason Luna scored 12, Kyle Hambelton 6, Bryson Luna 5 and Auston Luna 3.
The Falcons took on Chadwick (18-11) to battle for the sectional title at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Mountain Grove. Results of the game were unavailable at press time. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Risco vs. South Iron game at 1 p.m. Saturday in Van Buren.