Hatteras Heads the Long Way Home

Jenny Scarborough

Lucy O'Neal proved why she is the Dolphin star player during Saturday matches against Hatteras.

When left open, she pulled up for threes. Guarded, she drove and scored with confidence from pretty much anywhere on the floor, and she dominated the boards. O'Neal scored 21 points in the 53-28 victory over Hatteras.

The Hurricane players left their homes in the early morning darkness, met at Hatteras School at 6 a.m., spent over three hours in an activity bus driving to Swan Quarter, and then caught the ten o'clock ferry to be on Ocracoke for the 2 p.m. games. When the games ended around 5:30 p.m. they headed out to Gaffers for some good grub, before taking the 7 p.m. boat back to Swan Quarter for their long drive home, in the dark. On a Saturday. Cheers to all the Hatteras players and coaches for their commitment to this rivalry.

The Lady Hurricanes showed up with significantly more spark and life than they demonstrated last week against Ocracoke, when the US Coast Guard dropped them off for the game. Tori Barnett and Madison Fairbanks led the charge. They jumped out to an 8-6 lead with a focused full court press. The Hurricanes moved the ball better, were looking to score, and tirelessly went after loose balls.

Lucy O'Neal had 21 points in the victory over Hatteras.
Lucy O'Neal had 21 points in the victory over Hatteras.

A three point shot from Diana Perez put the Dolphins ahead. Alma Flores and the rest of team weren't interested in losing, either. An aggressive drive by Alin Tellez got her to the line, adding a point for the Dolphins. Flores then took it the length of the floor and was fouled. She didn't make the extra point, but her sweet "dandelion" shot fell, making it 12-10 for the home team at the end of the first quarter.

"Coach Bill has been telling me to go ahead and drive and 'do the dandelion.' The other girls were setting picks for me, and it just came together in this game," said Flores. The dandelion is a high, soft layup which complements Flores' amazing first step, the one that always seems to get her past the defense.

The victory "was a whole team thing," said Flores, noting with satisfaction that "all eight of us scored!"

Assistant Coach Bill Evans wasn't on hand to witness his proteges triumph, because he was being honored in a ceremony retiring his jersey from Pitt Commuity College. Former Dolphin and Pitt teammate Wade Austin also had his jersey retired from the Pitt line up on Saturday. Remember that alley oop, in 1988, from Wade to Bill, in that away game against Hatteras? It still puts a smile on my face.

Lucy O'Neal scored with a three. A classic give and go between Katie O'Neal and Josie Winstead got Katie to the line, and an inbound pass to well-positioned Ariana Trejo made the game 20-14. Flores kept coming. She used her speed and picks from her teammates to get to the basket for layups on back to back possessions, making it 24-14.

Lucy O'Neal ran the floor, called for the ball, and Tellez found the mark. A three by Katie O'Neal made it 29-16 at the half. The two O'Neal women continued to play their inside-out game that makes the Dolphins so formidable. Katie O'Neal does not turn the ball over, and she is the assist queen. Lucy didn't miss a step as Katie's pass anticipated her moving toward the basket. Katie then made a crisp inbounds pass to Lucy for two more, making it 36-16.

Josie Winstead's rebounding and clear sighted outlet passes kept the ball alive for Ocracoke, as did Tellez' aggressive steals. At the end of the third, the Dolphins led 42-18.

Fairbanks fought hard in the fourth, when the Hurricanes scored 10 points to the Dolphins 11.

The team's most improved player, Abby Morris, got in the record books with a free throw that the crowd loudly cheered. The 53-28 victory seals the Tideland Conference regular season championship for the women. Last year, they shared that honor with Columbia. After the game, a banner was unfurled in the rafters of the Dolphin tank recognizing that success.

The Lady Dolphins will have a bye in the first round of post-season tournament play, and should host the next game on their home court.

The Hatteras boys probably had plenty to think about on their long trip home. After trailing by as much as 10, the Dolphins stormed back, outscoring the Hurricanes 32-10 in the fourth quarter, for a final of 83-67.

Sharp shooter Todd Midgette started the night off with a three for Hatteras. When he is set up, the ball is going cleanly through the net. Last week the Dolphins learned that Kyle Beierlein can also launch from long range. As the defense stretched to protect the arc, Midgette and Beierlein drove in to score.

Wyatt Norris, who had seven assists, sailed a pass in to Casey Tolson, whose miss was picked up and put back in by Andrew Tillett. A Walker Garrish three brought the Dolphins within 2, 8-10. Norris drove, got to the line, and put Ocracoke within one.

Beierlein dominated during the first quarter, scoring 11 points of his 21 points in the first eight minutes. He got past his defender, and Tillett stepped over to help, picking up the foul. Beierlein made both.

A big three by Evin Caswell gave the Dolphins their first lead of the night, 14-12. Daniel Arrellano tied up a Dolphin player, got the steal, and a breakaway to put the Hurricanes back on top. A Beierlein three launched over Dalton Kalna's outstretched arms gave Hatteras a 16-21 cushion.

Andrew Tillett had 27 points and 18 rebounds.
Andrew Tillett had 27 points and 18 rebounds.

Casey Tolson got good looks from the baseline, but couldn't find his stroke in the early going. Garrish played tough, and picked up two offensive fouls that the crowd loudly questioned.

Midgette and Beierlein played a sweet passing game in the second quarter, seeming to score at will with give and go's. Hatteras led 20-30 when the Dolphins began pushing back, going inside to Garrish and Tillett. A Tolson three finally dropped, and then a Norris three fell to bring Ocracoke within 6, 30-36.

Caswell blocked a shot, Garrish plucked the ball out of the air, and Tolson sank another three with under a minute in the first half. After another defensive stop, Norris dumped the ball to Garrish, and the Dolphins had a chance to go to the locker room down one. Midgette was fouled on the next play, making both, to add to his game total of 21 points.

Garrish's Aunt Melissa won $107 in the 50/50 raffle at halftime to support the Ocracoke prom. His Aunt Mandy and Aunt Kay baked the cakes that were raffled for the same cause.

The Dolphins came out with great ball movement, with big men Tillett and Garrish finding one another open under the basket.Tillett owned the third quarter, hustling, grabbing seemingly every rebound, and getting to the line again and again, and the Dolphins within 4, 40-44.

Arrellano, who quietly and efficiently scored 18 for the Hurricanes, got Adam Carter off his feet, for two plus one. Midgette then made two three pointers, stretching the Hatteras lead back to ten.

Tillett continued to work his magic, getting the deficit back to four. He had 27 points and 18 rebounds in the game. His only comment about his dominant performance: "Both teams played hard."

Carter picked Midgette's pocket and got the easy open layup. He then answered a Hatteras three, ending the fast paced third quarter 51-57, and giving the crowd a taste of the Adam Carter show yet to come. Carter scored all 16 points of his points in the second half, including 3 threes in the final quarter.

A big block from Tillett opened the fourth. Another Carter steal and layup made the score 54-57, and shifted the momentum, which favored Ocracoke even more when Carter sank another huge three.

Arrellano scooped a sweet little shot in for Hatteras, and Caswell answered with his own drive and floater. Caswell's nine points came at great moments for his team, but his defensive effort on Beierlein may have made the real difference in the game.

A long, long three by Carter gave the Dolphins a 62-60 edge with just under five minutes to play, and they never looked back. The crowd had come alive, and the noise of the Dolphin tank seemed to have the Hurricanes scrambling.

Tolson hit both ends of a one on one, Tillett scored on the assist from Caswell, and Garrish was bumped while going up for a shot that fell. He made the extra point from the charity stripe, ending the night with 13. With 3:09 left the Dolphins led 70-62.

Carter sank yet another three on the inbound pass from Tolson, who had 6 assists to complement his 12 points. Icing! Tillett got to the line with just over a minute to play, made both, and the score was 79-64. Kalna was fouled with under 10 seconds on the clock, hit the first, and Tillett added two more after his offensive rebound. The final was Dolphins 83, Hurricanes 67.

The Dolphins never spread the floor and held the ball, inviting Hatteras to foul.

"We run and gun. We're not quitting on a Hatteras game," said Coach David Allewalt.

Like an NBA team, the Dolphins reserved their best defensive effort for the last quarter. If they didn't wait until they were down to play focused defense, they'd dominate every game, said Allewalt.

The teams meet for the third time next Thursday in Hatteras. The final Dolphin regular season home games begin Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Creswell. Check the Ocracoke Current Calendar for times, as they are subject to change. Fear the Pod.


Comments powered by Disqus