Bulldogs capture 2A, Area 1 regular season championship
By JOSH FRYE
With a defeat over Leroy, 61-50, on January 28, J.U. Blacksher’s Bulldogs captured the Class 2A, Area 2 regular season championship and gained the spot as the host for the Area 2 championship tournament for the second year in a row.
K.D. Rabb helped rally the Bulldogs to victory over Leroy, racking up 29 points. Bubba Nettles scored 10 points; J.T. Tucker and Joshua Peavy (8 each), Dorien Quarles and Deon Hill (6 each), and Elijah Smith and Tucker Spence (2 each) rounded out the scoring.
JUB also defeated rival Excel, 45-44, on January 30 and fell to Mobile Christian 53-36 on January 31, ending the regular season with an overall record of 22-4.
Rabb contributed 23 points against Excel and 24 points against Mobile Christian, finishing out the regular season with a school-record 1,760 career points.
“After the game against Leroy last week, the flu bug hit us pretty hard,” JUB head coach Wes Sims said. “Jackson Reid, Peavy and Justin Heffington have all been down with the virus, and it has limited us in certain parts. It will be nice to have those guys back to full strength, and hopes are high that we will not lose any more kids to the bug before the area championship tournament.”
Sims stressed that numerous factors played into last week’s loss to Mobile Christian.
The Bulldogs, who were confused in their effort to establish a new man-to-man defense, also didn’t rebound.
“Mobile Christian has a really good team,” Sims said. “When it comes down to it, the regular season record and win over Leroy can be thrown out of a window. It doesn’t matter once you reach the championship tournament. The loss against Mobile Christian creates an opportunity to wake the team up. It brings in the reality that you can be beaten. Our focus is now on playing the best we can and trying to bring in a championship.”
In last Thursday’s contest against Excel, Tucker contributed eight points. Nettles (6), Spence (4) and Hill and Smith (2 each) rounded out the JUB scoring.
In last Friday’s contest against Mobile Christian, only two other Bulldogs added points to Rabb’s scoring performance. Tucker gained 8; Nettles rounded out the scoring with 4.
Leroy will take on Southern Choctaw in area tournament action on Wednesday, February 5, at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will play in the second game of the night against Washington County just 90 minutes after the Southern Choctaw contest.
Winners of each game will face off for the area championship at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 7.