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By Richard Taylor
Ocracoke Dolphins will defend their Atlantic 5 Conference championship tonight at Columbia after crushing the Mattamuskeet Lakers 92-42 in an Atlantic 5 Conference semifinal game Tuesday night.
Tonight’s game in Columbia is against the Bear Grass Bears, who beat the Hatteras Hurricanes 68 to 60 Tuesday night.
WOVV, 90.1 FM and at wovv.rocks will broadcast tonight’s championship game live at 7:30 with Ocracoke Athletic Director Adam “Coach B” Burleson calling the play-by-play.
“As long as we play our game, we’ll be competitive and be in it,” said Dolphins Coach David Allewalt. The Dolphins are 12-1 in conference play and 16-7 overall.
Ocracoke’s 92-point total Tuesday was their highest scoring game of the season. Dominating every aspect of the game, the scrappy, fast-breaking Dolphins led 18-0 in the first quarter before the Lakers could score their first basket. Ocracoke led 53-21 at the half.
After the Dolphins had raced ahead of the Lakers, 63-23, midway through the third period, officials began a “running clock,” in which time never stops (even for foul shots) when one team leads by 40 points or more.
Hot-shooting senior Colby Austin again led the Dolphin with 21 points, including six 3-pointers.
Sophomore Cole Gilbert (who is six feet, 10 inches tall) had one of his best games, scoring 16. Mason Fuller chipped in 14 while Reese Gaskins and Perry Austin each scored 11 points.
Allewalt substituted often, enabling all 10 Dolphins to make the scorebook in the team’s lopsided victory. The Lakers only used six players.
“We knew coming in that they were down a couple of players,” Allewalt said. “We just figured we would play an up-tempo game and eventually they would run out of steam and we would get a lot of easy ‘looks.’ It was important for us to get off to a real good start and we did.” (‘Looks,’ in basketball lingo, are easy baskets.)
Allewalt said the team passed the ball well.
“I thought we made some really good decisions in our transition game that gave us a lot of easy buckets,” he said. “Any time we can go out and get some easy buckets, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”
JV players Parker Gaskill and Hayden Austin suited up to replace Kalai Samick and Paul Jordan who were out sick. Gaskill scored 6 points and Austin had 2.
“It’s always nice for these younger guys to feel what the intensity level of varsity basketball is all about,” Allewalt said.
Allewalt credited the 50-point blowout to balanced team play.
“Colby, being the point guard, facilitates the floor really well,” he said. “Reese runs the floor really well, too. I thought Mason shot well early. Cole and Perry played well too, so our inside presence was there.
“Anytime you put 90 some points on the board, it’s a total team effort. When you have five guys in double digits, you’re usually going to win.”
The Dolphins return to the Tank (Ocracoke’s school gym) one more time this season, with a state 1A playoff game next week.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association in Chapel Hill will decide seeding and match-ups for playoff games Saturday once all state conference championships are decided.