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The Ocracoke boys’ varsity basketball team is on its way to Columbia for tonight’s Atlantic 6 1A Conference championship game.
Undefeated in conference play (10-0) and 19-3 overall, the Dolphins will play the Columbia Wildcats (13-7 overall and 7-3 in conference) in Columbia High School.
Ocracoke School Athletic Director Charles Temple will broadcast tonight’s game live at 7:30 tonight on WOVV, 90.1 FM and wovv.org.
The Wildcats made it to the finals Thursday night by defeating Bear Grass Charter 80-53. The Dolphins advanced to the tournament championship Wednesday night with in a 80-23 semifinal victory over the Mattamuskeet Lakers in the Creswell High School gym.
The first two rounds of the tournament were played in the gym of host school, Creswell High, but this morning Ocracoke was informed that the tournament final would be relocated to Columbia High due to HVAC problems causing condensation on the playing floor.
During the regular season, the Dolphins beat the Wildcats twice: 55-45 in an away game, Dec. 12, and 71-61 at home on Jan. 30.
Dolphins basketball coach David Allewalt and the team captain, Liam Caswell, appeared on Peter Vankevich’s “What’s Happening on Ocracoke” WOVV broadcast at noon Friday.
Allewalt emphasized the Dolphins off-season work last year, previous JV team experience and the team’s work ethic during practice as factors leading to the Dolphin’s impressive record this year.
The conference championship game was in the team’s “Chapter 4” and attaining the state playoffs are in the “Chapter 5” plans, he said.
“By all means Liam’s the leader, but all nine players contribute,” Allewalt said. “It’s a lot of off-season work and hard practice last fall. It’s a tribute to the sense of accountability among all our players.”
Caswell emphasized how well the entire team gets along with each other, which is one of the important reasons why they play so well.
Allewalt has been coaching the Dolphins for eight years.
“We like to distinguish ourselves as a school which can compete with anyone,” he said. “It’s the dedication of the athletes.”
“We’re not finished yet,” Caswell told WOVV Friday, adding the team was unfazed with the relocation of the game tonight. “We’re ready to play anywhere.”
The Dolphin senior, honor roll student and leading scorer with 23 points per game, concluded, “We want to bring it home.”
Win or lose, the Dolphins will play in the state playoffs. The first round of those games may be here at home.