HARTVILLE — Don’t let their youth fool you — the Dora Falcons, led by four freshmen, are putting together a big season and emerging as a contender in Missouri Class 1.
Led by Isaac Haney and Dora head coach Rick Luna’s three sons — Austin Bryson and Mason — the team knocked off Hartville in a double overtime thriller on Friday in Hartville, spoiling the Eagles Court-warming festivities and avenging a loss to Hartville in the semifinals of the Mountain Grove tournament.
Dora got a game-high 33 points from Haney and improved to 18-5 this season.
“This was one of those crazy games that could have gone either way and coach (Brett) Reed does a great job with those boys,” Dora head coach Rick Luna said. “They have had a great season and they have great tradition up here.
“We knew it going in — it was one of those games where we knew coming in it was going to be a battle. We just had to do things the right way.”
Luna said a big key in Friday’s game was staying focused on their box out responsibilities and limiting second chance points to a bigger, older team.
Dora has been led this season by Haney, a 5’10 point guard who is averaging 22 points per game this season. He is shooting 54 percent from the field, 44 percent from 3-point range and has already made 68 3-pointers this season.
“You are going to be hard pressed to find a better pure shooter and ball handler around,” Luna said. “He is one of those that just needs a little size to him, but he is still going to grow a little bit.”
The triplets as they’ve become known, are leach 5’11 and have all put up well-rounded stat lines this season. Bryson Luna is averaging 15 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 3.1 steals, Mason Luna is averaging 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 4.6 steals, and Austin Luna is averaging 4.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
“They are all unique, they all shoot the ball pretty well from the outside,” Luna said. “Mason, he might a little better penetrator than the other two … defensively, they get after it and really compete. They just want to win and they hate losing.”
“That group has played together since they were 4 years old traveling and playing all over,” Luna said. “I have no idea how many games they have played together over the years, but they would play 80-90 games per year and travel all over the county.
“They are a lot of fun to watch and coach and they are good kids.”
However, Luna was quick to point out the four freshmen have merged with four seniors to develop important chemistry.
Seniors Robert Vigdal (5’10, G), Kaleb Harris (5’10, G), Brent McKemie (6’0, F) and Austin White (6’0, F) have all played key roles this season for the Falcons and provided steady leadership.
“You can’t ask for better seniors who have come in with no animosity or anything like that and they are all just after the ‘W,’” Luna said.
White is averaging five points and three rebounds and shooting 75 percent from the field. McKemie has come off the bench to average 3.4 points, whlle Vigdal is averaging 2.4 points and Harris is averaging 3.5 points per game.
We’re not big, our biggest player is 6’0, and (White) does a lot of dirty work, setting screens and does a great job,” Luna said. “McKemie plays a lot of center and hits a lot of 3-pointers out of the corner. He is that unique kid that comes in and gets matched up with an opposing center and can step out and hit 3s.
“(Vigdal) is shooting 40 percent on 3s this season … They all do a great job and they all played last year and we got to the district championship game last year. This year we have won a few games and they are all gelling well at the same time.”