By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
December 29, 2013
The Opelika Bulldogs are a veteran team, and they’ve played like it through the first two days of the LaGrange Toyota Basketball Classic.
The Bulldogs have found themselves involved in two close games in the tournament, and they’ve won both of them by making the clutch plays they’ve had to in the fourth quarter.
In the first round against McIntosh, the Bulldogs found themselves facing a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, but they stormed back for a 71-64 victory.
On Saturday, in a semifinal showdown with the host team, Opelika used a 9-0 run in the fourth period to claim a 61-57 victory over LaGrange.
That win put Opelika in the championship game, and it will take on Rockdale County in today’s championship game.
That will be the fourth and final game today that will put the wraps on the eight-team tournament.
The championship game will pit a 7-3 Opelika team against a Rockdale County that is just 4-8, but has won three straight games.
Rockdale County has also won a pair of close games to reach this point.
Rockdale County edged East Coweta 82-78 on Friday, and it got past Valley 72-67 on Saturday to advance.
In the third-place game, LaGrange and Valley will each look to bounce back from tough losses.
Valley outscored Rockdale County 25-22 in the fourth quarter Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the win.
LaGrange, meanwhile, fought back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to get as close as two against Opelika, but it couldn’t complete the comeback.
LaGrange thumped W.D. Mohammed 66-46 in its tournament opener, and Valley beat Wayne County 70-66 in its first game.
The fifth-place game will be East Coweta against McIntosh.
East Coweta recovered from a loss to Rockdale County on Friday to beat Wayne County on Saturday.
McIntosh, after blowing the big fourth-quarter lead against Opelika in the first round, beat W.D. Mohammed 57-45 in the second round.
In the seventh-place game, W.D. Mohammed and Wayne County will face off.
Both teams are 0-2 in the tournament.
3 p.m. - W.D. Mohammed vs. Wayne County
4:30 p.m. - East Coweta vs. McIntosh
6 p.m. - LaGrange vs. Valley
7:30 p.m. - Opelika vs. Rockdale County