Washington County has ascended to the top spot in the Class 2A rankings this season thanks to a stifling defense. On Tuesday night, Houston Academy found that out the hard way.
The Bulldogs limited the Raiders to 31 percent shooting for the game, beating Houston Academy 57-52 at the South Regional Tournament. With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to face Elba for the 2A Regional Title on Friday.
Washington County jumped on the Raiders early, leading 23-10 midway through the second quarter. But, HA would find some rhythm late in the period, cutting the Bulldogs lead to 31-26 at halftime.
The game remained tight throughout. Houston Academy cut the Bulldogs lead to two points with less than four minutes to play at 50-48.
The Raiders would mount one final charge, pulling within three points in the final 30 seconds and stealing the ball. However, Richard Howell missed two 3-point attempts and Alex Thompson also misfired from downtown, and the Bulldogs were able to escape with the five-point win.
Jaylin Cooper led three Bulldogs in double figures with 13 points. Washington County also enjoyed a decided advantage on the glass, outrebounding Houston Academy 46-33.
Alex Thompson led the Raiders with 25 points and 14 rebounds, but he hit just 7-of-19 shots and only 10-of-17 free throws. Howell struggled even more, hitting just 1-of-16 shots in the losing effort.