Greyhounds Grapple Indians
J. C. Tilton
The Dixie boys basketball team hosted their last home game of the season against Carlisle this past Friday. Once again Dixie found itself outsized, so they would need to be scrappy and generate turnovers on defense. It was senior night and Zach Eldred, John Barnes, and Josh Cummings were all recognized before the game.
Both teams were slow scoring in the early going. The first basket was scored by Carlisle and it wasn't until the 3:50 that Josh Cummins scored the first basket for Dixie. From there both teams awoke from their offensive slumber and started to move the lights on the scoreboard. All three Dixie seniors started and all three scored in the first quarter. Dixie played mainly zone thru out the game, mixing in a little half court trap to generate some turnovers. Carlisle would work to keep the Hounds off balance switching from zone to mtm several times thru out the night.
After one, it was tied 10 all. The second quarter remained a defensive struggle - neither team was able to open a big lead against the other. Ben Risner briefly gave the lead to Dixie with a bucket, but Carlisle's Jason Hudnall tied the score again. Ben Spahr responded with a basket of his own to allow Dixie to pull ahead at the 2:33 mark. But Carlisle would pull ahead in the closing minutes of the first half with a narrow 21-19 lead. A bad sign for the Hounds, they allowed over 12 turnovers in the first half alone. Despite this disadvantage the team was only down by two.
The third quarter was a see-saw quarter. Johnny Adams scored quickly for the Hounds to tie the score. But for the next 3 and half minutes someone put a bunji cord on the Hound basket, and the Carlisle Indians got some momentum. They scored the next 6 points for the biggest lead of the night. John Barnes took swung the momentum the other way when he hit a big trey at the 4:18 mark to cut that lead in half. Adams and McBain hit duces in succeeding possessions and suddenly the Greyhounds had the lead 30-29 as the teams readied themselves for the last quarter.
Thru the first part of the quarter the game was played in the same fashion as the first three quarters. A couple of lead changes and neither team able to pull away from the other. Then within a minutes time things became unglued. A Dixie defender missed an assignment and Carlisle's deep threat Jared Hale was left unattended behind the arc. He struck for three. Dixie's possession was stopped, and then Carlisle's Todd Griffith likewise found himself open and also hit for a duce and a half. The game had been knotted up and suddenly Dixie was down 6 and had accumulated 9 fouls - one away from double bonus. The gap had not shrunk as the teams passed the two minute mark.
From there things went bad quickly for the Hounds. They had to foul to get possession of the ball, but each trip was for two tries and the Indians were having some success from the line. The deficit grew and Dixie was throwing up hurried shots that clanged off the iron. The hole grew deeper and deeper with Dixie losing 56-41 - a game that was much closer than the final score indicates.
Coach Randy Etter was asked for comment, “I'm real disappointed, because the same things happen all year, we get better and better and we just wait for that one thing to happen. They got the one three, followed by another, and the momentum shifted completely. It's a one point game with about 4 minutes left and we lose like this.” When asked about turnovers, the coach acknowledged the team had 14 in the first half alone. Still the team managed to play 3 and half quarters of a good ball game. And that has been the M.O. of the team this year- to have several good quarters, then have a bad quarter and let the game slip away.
Scoring for the Hounds: Chuck Poynter 1, Zach Eldred 6, Johnny Adams 7, Kevin McBain 5, John Barnes 7, Ben Risner 3, Ben Spahr 10, Josh Cummins 2. The reserves lost a closely fought game 49-46. Sinnamon 7, Miles 5, Bertke 4, Miller 5, Mohr 17, Wright 3, Prater 5. Comments: email: Chris Tilton