Dora had the advantages of being the top seed, having an extra day of preparation and the knowledge that it had already beaten San Jon.
San Jon only had one advantage — the homecourt — but it didn’t last long enough as visiting Dora claimed a 63-49 win in Wednesday’s matchup of the Eastern Plains Athletic Conference Basketball tournament.
Dora (10-3) recovered from an early 10-point deficit and rode a game-high 25 points from Tyler Wilhoit to earn a semifinal matchup with Texico, set for 6 p.m. Friday at Greyhound Arena.
“We made plays when we needed to,” Dora coach Ty Thatcher said. “It’s always good to win the first round game of EPAC. It helps you down the line.”
J.R. Gonzales added 12 and Clay Smith 10 for the Coyotes, the top seed in the 3A bracket. San Jon (4-6) led 12-8 after the first quarter but saw Dora take control with a 22-11 second.
“We got down early in the game,” Thatcher said. “Defensively, we weren’t playing together … trying to stop them one on one. We got Tyler some pretty good looks and went 8-of-12 from the line in the second quarter.”
San Jon was led by Danny Shetter with 14 points, one of three double-figure scorers for the host squad.
Thatcher gave credit to San Jon and coach Larry King for an improved effort. The teams met earlier this season, with Dora claiming a 79-36 win.
“They definitely had a plan for everything we do defensively and they ran plays well,” Thatcher said. “They were definitely very well prepared and they did play with a lot of heart.”
Elida girls 33, Grady 31
Jewlie Paiz scored 10 points to lead Elida in a low-scoring victory.
The Lady Tigers also got nine points from Lindsey Bob Smith and seven from Kodi Armitage.
Elida (11-1) moves on to Friday’s 2:30 p.m. semifinal at Greyhound Arena.
Heather Blackburn of Grady led all scorers with 14 points.