ALBANY — The Dougherty Trojans got another taste of growing pains Friday night at Radium Springs Middle School, losing a highly contested overtime game to Cairo 56-54.
Cairo jumped out to a 9-1 lead early in the game, but the Trojans bounced back with a 15-3 run of their own to jump ahead before the half. At one point in the third quarter, the Trojans led by 12 points, but the visitors weren’t deterred, taking advantage of a young Dougherty squad to win the Region 1-AAAA battle.
“We just have to keep improving,” said Dougherty coach Donald Poole afterwards. “We’ve got some young guys out there, but that’s no excuse. We have to control the ball better than we did in the second half.”
The Trojans were led by a dominant performance by Montrail Siseroe. The junior forward recorded a double-double in a losing effort, finishing with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
“That’s pretty good,” Poole said of Siseroe’s performance, “but we’re looking more at the overall play of the team. We have to do better on defense and rebounding, and also making better decisions at the end of the game.”
The Trojans fell to 2-2 overall and 2-2 in the region with the loss. However, it’s still terribly early in the season, and a tough region loss such as this can also help the young Trojans as the season progresses.
“We can take a lot from this game,” Poole said. “We’re playing three or four freshmen, and I thought they did a good job, but they have to grow up as they play. Overall, they did a good job, but we look to improve every time we get on the floor.”
One of the freshmen Poole spoke of was David Quimby, who showed flashes of talent throughout the game Friday night, finishing with 11 points and three rebounds. Unfortunately for the Trojans, he missed a few free throws in overtime that would’ve clinched a victory.
“We’re not going to take too much from him,” Poole said of the freshman guard. “Last week, he was hitting those shots. He’ll get to a point where he’s consistent at doing what he does.”
Cole Bennett led the Syrupmakers with 17 points. Stacy Masten added 11 points of his own, including four points in the overtime period that proved to be enough to give them the win.
Earlier in the evening, the Lady Trojans cruised to a 55-28 region victory over the Lady Syrupmakers, boosting their record to 4-1 overall and 3-1 within Region 1-AAAA.
Senior forward Ra’Keta Shelton led the way for the Lady Trojans with 20 points, while Takiya Davis and Amber Ward added 13 each. Hydia Greene led the Lady Syrupmakers with 12 points in a losing effort. The Lady Trojans’ leading three scorers accounted for all but nine points of its final score.
The Lady Trojans will travel to Sylvester to take on Worth County next Friday, while Cairo travels to Thomasville today to face Thomas County Central.