Dixie Learning to be Road Warriors
J. C. Tilton
The Dixie Greyhounds came into this weeks games smarting from a road loss to Arcanum. To get some momentum for a late season push, they needed to string together a couple of wins away from home. Due to a game being rescheduled in the first half of the season. Dixie would play 3 games this week. The first two were away and the final game of the week back at home against a tough Oakwood team.
Dixie first played against Preble Shawnee. A young team that has been struggling this season. The Greyhounds came out aggressively in the first period, showing the Arrows no mercy as they pressed and went on an impressive 15-0 run to start the game. Ben Spahr established himself defensively inside with two blocked shots. And the team showed that they could steal and deal - getting a take away from Shawnee and running the court for a basket. Preble Shawnee recovered, but a statement had been made.
The scoring was steady in the second quarter, but Dixie settled into a half court zone defense. The goal was to let Shawnee have the outside, but limit them to one chance. Post game stats would show that this worked as the Greyhounds out rebounded the Arrows over the course of the game 45 to 20. One worrisome stat was that Dixie got sloppy with the ball. In the first quarter Dixie had the edge, but poor ball handling turned over the ball to the Arrows way too much in the second. Fortunately they could not turn these gifts into points and Dixie had a 32-16 halftime lead.
Both Dixie and Preble Shawnee used the zone and man defenses in the second half. Dixie pressed briefly, but soon called it off. The Arrows were gamers all the way, they fought hard, but could not make up any ground. The Dixie bench put in some quality minutes with postman Andrew Thacker leading the way with 10 points. At the final buzzer, Dixie won 60-39. Coach Miller was asked about the statement that Dixie made at the beginning of the game with their 15-0 run. “We did what we wanted to do. We got a big early lead, but then we relaxed too much. They got sloppy, but so did we. Give Shawnee credit, they play hard. I was impressed. Coming in we haven't played well on the road, and we wanted to get out quick.”
Points for Dixie: Denny 2, Crowe 4, Moore 3, McBain 6, Adams 11, Kummer 13, Spahr 9, Thacker 10. Shawnee: Trent 3, Byrd 1, Messer 6, Cottingim 15, Alcorn 2, Hale 12.
Next up for Dixie was the Madison Mohawks. This was another road game and was even more critical because of the standings in the SWBL. Three teams are tied for second behind Waynesville and this was a chance for Dixie to pull away from the pack. Another statement was made, this time it was punctuated by Johnny Adams. He would score a career high 35 points, including 7 three point shots. This total surpassed the 6 scored by the entire Mohawk team. He was the only Dixie player to score in double figures, but that would be all that they needed.
Dixie had a 5 point halftime lead, but a strong third quarter extended that lead into double figures. Madison would try to comeback in the fourth, but Dixie kept them at bay, finally winning 60-51. For the first time this season they had been able to string together two road wins. Scoring for Dixie: Adams 35, Crowe 2, Kummer 3, McBain 9, Moore 8, Risner 2, Thacker 1. This weekend was the tournament draw, mark Feb. 20, 7pm on your calendars. That is when Dixie will play TCN at Kettering Fairmont in the opening round of the State tournament. Comments: email: Chris Tilton