SADLER — Going into district play the Dodd City Hornets had yet to win a game, which might have been a bit understandable considering the circumstances.

SADLER — Going into district play the Dodd City Hornets had yet to win a game, which might have been a bit understandable considering the circumstances.


All five starters had graduated, just two holdover varsity players — no seniors — remained and 11 of the 12 on the roster were either freshmen or sophomores.


But once the Hornets started playing the games that would decide their fate, there was an opportunity to return to the playoffs for the sixth straight season.


"That was our goal once we got to district. We’ll have a chance. We just need to keep getting better," Dodd City head coach Lance Shelton said. "They did a great job of getting better from the beginning of the year. It was great to see."


The Hornets weren’t able to advance once earning a spot in the postseason as Slidell defeated Dodd City, 75-48, in a Class 1A Division II Region III bi-district game at S&S on Monday night.


Isaac Davis scored 28 points, 21 in the second half, for Slidell, which will face Avinger in the area round later this week.


The Greyhounds led by just six after the first quarter before turning up the defensive pressure and pushed the lead over 20 for good in the third quarter. Dodd City had 32 turnovers, 20 of them in the middle two quarters, when Slidell pulled away.


"The press got to us," Shelton said. "We had to beat the press and get back in transition."


Holden Horton had 16 points while Tyler Dotson finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets.


Slidell jumped to the early 12-5 advantage before Dodd City chipped away at the deficit behind Dotson, who scored the first five of nine points, followed by back-to-back baskets from Zach Kennon in a stretch to get the Hornets within a point, 15-14, late in the first quarter.


But Colton Perkins, who scored 27 points and made five three-pointers, connected from long range and the Greyhounds led 22-16 after eight minutes.


Slidell scored the first seven points of the second quarter and then had a 9-0 spurt right before half-time to build a 40-23 advantage. Both Dodd City baskets, including a three by Horton, came on consecutive possessions between the runs.


The Hornets went scoreless for almost six minutes in the third quarter as Slidell scored 14 straight and opened a 26-point lead going to the fourth. Davis made five shots as the Greyhounds poured it on in the fourth as the margin crested at 31 points. All of the scoring came from the Slidell starters.


Even though the outcome was decided by half-time, Dodd City’s district push provided a bright finish to provide a blueprint for coming seasons.


"It was good for them to have a playoff game, as young as they are," Shelton said. "They played well against a good team. Hang in there and then we have next year and then the next year where we only lose one player from this group in that time."