Dollarway coach Ellis Berry did not want the thought of a non-perfect conference season on his players' minds.
Dollarway coach Ellis Berry did not want the thought of a non-perfect conference season on his players’ minds.
He knew the Cardinals would have to forfeit a game or two before the season was over for using an ineligible player.
On Friday, Berry confirmed Dollarway has to forfeit its second game of the year, which was a win over Star City, for using an ineligible player.
But even with the two forfeits in the last two days, the Cardinals still won the 8-4A Conference title with a 12-2 record after beating Warren 65-37 Friday at Dollarway Fieldhouse.
“I knew about it long before it happened,” Berry said. “I just didn’t let them know about it because I didn’t want them to lose focus of what they wanted to do.”
Dollarway had to forfeit the two games because Tracy Smith played in both. Smith was ineligible due to grades, but the infractions were not discovered until after each game was played.
Berry said this is the last forfeit Dollarway (21-6) will have to deal with this year.
“All that is behind us now and we still have the number one seed,” he said. “We are moving forward. … It’s done. It’s a communication error on my part. I take the blame.”
With all that went on in the last two days, it may have been understandable that Dollarway got off to a slow start against Warren (0-20, 0-14).
The game was tied at 12 at the end of the first quarter. But Davonne Chapman got the second quarter off right with a steal and a dunk. Chapman ended the second quarter with nine points as Dollarway went into halftime with a 33-21 lead.
“I had to come off the bench and play hard, and I did that,” said Chapman, who finished the game with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Dollarway kept firing away in the second half and ended the third quarter with a 47-27 lead before going on for the 65-37 win.
“We got off to a slow start, but I knew we were going to pick it up,” Berry said. “It was a big game for us to get momentum going into next week.”
For Warren, the Lumberjacks’ season ended without a win. But coach Jimmy May said better times are on the way.
“Dollarway did what they had to do to win,” he said. “For the senior high, it’s a rebuilding year and get the program back on track.
“The future looks bright, and I will have nine or 10 ninth-graders moving up. We will be OK in the near future.”
Jamal Burton added 12 points for Dollarway. Darveon Brown scored 10 points for Warren.
Dollarway will play Bauxite at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the 4A South Regional at Dumas. The winner will automatically qualify for the state tournament.
Warren 55, Dollarway 32
After going into halftime with a 24-19 lead, Warren pulled away in the third quarter and beat Dollarway 55-32 Friday.
Morgan Gathen led Warren (8-12, 5-9) with 12 points and Chakendra Roberson added 10 points. Alia Jackson had 11 points for Dollarway (1-23, 1-13).