Re-Hatched Calera stumbles in third straight 2A championship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Calera Eagles basketball season ended last Thursday the same way it has the last three years, with a disappointing loss in the Class 2A state championship game.

The Eagles (31-1) blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter as R.C. Hatch exploded with

several late three-point shots to secure their second straight 2A state title.

Calera fell 74-63, losing to the Bobcats

in the championship game for the second year in a row.

The loss left Calera coach Robert Burdette speechless in a media conference following the game at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.

&uot;Typically win or lose I have something to say,&uot; Burdette said. &uot;To be honest I’m just at a loss right now.&uot;

After coming out to a slow start, Calera entered the half trailing Hatch by six points.

The Eagles remained in the locker room for the entire halftime period before returning to the courts in the second half with a renewed intensity.

&uot;I basically told them we couldn’t have played any worse than we did in the first half,&uot; Burdette said.

Behind junior leader George Drake, the Eagles outscored the Bobcats 25-9 in the third quarter.

Drake scored 11 of his team-leading 19 points in that third quarter run.

&uot;George has done that a lot for us, that’s not a surprise,&uot; Burdette said.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, Drake’s performance the rest of the game was not on the same level.

The 6-3 forward was only 7-of-22 in field goals and missed all seven of his three-point attempts. He did, however, shoot a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.

&uot;We shot way to many jump shots and that’s uncharacteristic of this basketball team,&uot; Burdette said. &uot;If you could look at a shot chart you’d see we weren’t being aggressive offensively.&uot;

Glynn Dowdell was 8-of-13 from the field and scored 18 points for Calera. He also had nine rebounds, three steals and three assists.

C.J. Pearson scored 11 for the Eagles while Trey Russell had 10 points and nine rebounds