The coach didn’t have one good thing to say about the Wildcats’ performance, but was quick to give Donoho credit for pushing Saks to a close 41-31 first-round in win the Calhoun County tournament.
“Obviously, Donoho defended us well, don’t take anything away from them, but we’re just up and down,” Miller said. “We play OK for stretches and this past week we played complete games, but today it was back to the same old, same old. We were just lackadaisical with the ball on the offense, couldn’t make a shot. We’re just lucky to have won.”
Saks entered the game off a week that included wins against Class 3A, Area 10 opponents Weaver, who is the Calhoun County Tournament's top seed and area champion, and Piedmont. It looked to be a possible uphill swing for the Wildcats, that is, until Tuesday’s game.
Miller said he doesn’t know the reason Saks is so inconsistent.
“I’m sure this game being a 4 o’clock game didn’t help, but we’ve got to score more than 41 points. There’s no excuse for that,” Miller said. “Donoho did defend us well, they’re big, which hurt our inside game, but we scored 13 points in the second half. There’s no excuse for that, regardless of who you’re playing.”
Saks had a chance to blow the game open in the second quarter, when it went on 12-0 run, which ended just before halftime, after the Wildcats took a 26-12 lead. That’s when the game changed.
Donoho coach Shannon Felder changed the Falcons' defense from man-to-man to zone and that sparked a defensive stand in the second half. Felder also said if Saks was going to give Donoho the inside game, the Falcons were going to take it. Justin Foster, who finished the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Axis Heathcock, who added four rebounds, quickly took over the lane in the third quarter.
“We put ourselves in a position late in the game to take to make a run and I was proud of that,” Felder said. “I just wish we would have played better earlier.”
Donoho was led by Chris Carr, who scored 15 points and had nine rebounds. Heathcock two points and Parker Morgan recorded four rebounds. Saks was led by Darion Coleman’s 11 points, which included three 3-point shots. Daniel Heard added 10 points and eight rebounds and Roc Green had seven points and five rebounds.
Saks will play in the quarterfinals Thursday at 8:30 p.m.
“We don’t know much about Anniston, we’ll obviously watch them play tonight,” Miller said. “We’ve just got to play better all around, offensively, defensively, intensity has to be taken up three or four more notches. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and just do a lot better.”
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star.