The year 2013 was a fascinating one in sports. Louisville beat Baylor in the Sweet 16 – an upset nobody saw coming. The Boston Bruins rallied from three goals down in Game 7 to beat Toronto in overtime and Alabama went for a 57-yard field goal with one second on the clock against Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The attempt fell short. Chris Davis took it to the house in the opposite direction for a Tigers win.
That was also the year in which the Houston County Sharks won their first Adapted Sports state basketball championship.
As fascinating goes … they haven’t looked back since, winning their sixth-straight Thursday in the Macon Centreplex. The guys and gals did it by beating West Georgia 36-27.
“I’m excited,” said Coach Christy Jones. “We kind of made it exciting in the first half, but they didn’t get their head down and just fought back, and I just couldn’t be prouder of these guys.”
Making it exciting referred to the fact the Sharks found themselves down 4-0 after the first period. West Georgia built that to 8-0 in the second period before a free throw late by Olando Hicks removed the goose egg. (Hicks finished with two points.) Nevertheless, it stood at 8-1 after two periods.
The Wolverines pushed that up to 10-3 before, as Jones previously referred … “they didn’t get their head down” … kicked in. That was to the tune of eight straight points and an 11-10 lead. West Georgia countered to make it 12-11 before Jordan Kozloski was fouled with nine seconds to go and had a chance to tie it or put the Sharks back on top. Unfortunately, she was unable to convert either. Houston County was also unable to convert – missing from the field – after grabbing the rebound. That made the deficit stick as the half began.
The fourth period proved to be more to their liking.
Emanuel Dawson finished the night with eight points. Six of those were made in a row and proved to be key, Jones and Kozloski said, to Houston County being able to gain momentum and pull away.
“He’s a good shooter,” Kozloski said. “And he went and shot and he helped us out big time. Without him I don’t think we would have been able to pull it out as well as we did.”
The need for Dawson to step up was due to the fact West Georgia had adopted a game plan that featured double teaming Kozloski. She, the team’s most-experienced veteran with 10 years under her belt, still finished with 26.
“These guys are scrappers,” Jones summed. “And I knew once we got hot with our shooting we were going to come back. I had not doubts.”
For the Wolverines, Bryan Lanier had 10, Jesse Cochran nine and Joseph “Bubba” Ivey six. Dylan Goble rounded out the team’s numbers with two.