Prep Basketball: KSD falls in finals


By LARRY VAUGHT
larry@amnews.com

For years Alabama School for the Deaf has been a dominant team in Mason-Dixon Tournament play and came into this year’s tourney here ranked as the nation’s No. 1 deaf team.

Still, Kentucky School for the Deaf coach Mike Yance could not have asked for more from his team here Saturday night event though they lost 55-45 in the championship game.

“Our third quarter really hurt us, but we had Alabama scared,” said Yance. “We made mistakes and missed shots, but I am so proud of our players. Alabama is a scary team. They lost to the No. 1 public school in Alabama by only five points, so that tells you how good they are.

“We did well. Their coach told me we were one of the best teams they have played this year, so our boys should be proud of that.”

If not for a horrid third quarter, the Colonels might be even prouder today.

KSD trailed only 25-24 at halftime before Alabama’s superior size and strength took over. The Silent Warriors opened period three with an 11-0 run and outscored KSD 17-2. The Colonels were 1-for-6 from the field and had nine of their 24 turnovers in the quarter.

It didn’t help that point guard Dustin Tipton had injured his shoulder in Friday’s upset of Florida School for the Deaf and could not raise his arm to shoot. He took a hard fall on the shoulder again just before halftime and missed the first two minutes of the third quarter.

“His shoulder got better during the night, but then the pain got worse and he couldn’t even shoot,” Yance said.

KSD, which had not reached the Mason-Dixon title game since 2000, gave the capacity crowd one final reason to cheer when Travis Zornoza, who had 18 points, and Jordan Ramser combined for seven straight points to open period four and trim the deficit to 42-33 with 6 minutes, 59 seconds left. However, the Colonels did not score the next four minutes and Alabama held on to win.

Alabama was 19-for-51 from the field while the home team was 15-for-54. Alabama had 24 turnovers.

Both teams seemed tense early in the game as the first quarter featured 18 turnovers, including 10 by the host Colonels, and the teams were a combined 8-for-27 from the field with four field goals each.

KSD used a 7-0 run sparked by Smith to take a 14-10 lead late in the quarter but the Silent Warriors went on an 11-3 surge to take their biggest lead of the half at 21-17. KSD got leads of 22-21 and 24-23 before Alabama took a 25-24 halftime lead.

“It’s a sad loss, but we played our hearts out on the floor,” Yance said. “It hurts not to win, but we did all we could against a very, very good team.”

KSD had not won a Mason-Dixon title since 1988 and that team, coached by Paul Orberson, was honored at halftime of Saturday’s game.

* * *

Mason-Dixon Tournament at Danville

Saturday

Championship

Alabama . . . . 12 – 25 – 42 – 55

KSD . . . . . . . .14 – 24 – 26 – 45

KSD (9-7) – Dustin Tipton 1, Jordan Ramser 4, Travis Zornoza 18, Aaron Smith 14, Douglas Brock 2, Dallas Brock 3.

Alabama (16-3) – Kwentouens Boyd 22, Heriborto Nunez 2, Dematric Snider 2, Joshua Snow 4, John Dorsey 4, Trey Gordon 14, J, Jerrod Cunningham 6.

– – –

Friday

Semifinal

KSD . . . . . . 18 – 23 – 32 – 41

Florida . . . . 10 – 20 – 29 – 34

KSD (9-6) – Dustin Tipton 2, Jordan Ramser 23, Travis Zornoza 7, Aaron Smith 7, Douglas Brock 2.

Florida – Justin Upson 1, Cameron Gardner 9, Kareem Dore 12, Marcus Larry 9, Jose Torres 3.

Copyright:The Advocate-Messenger 2009

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