Close Doesn't Count for Dixie
J. C. Tilton
Dixie played some good hard nosed basketball against two quality opponents. Both games would be close - the end would be in doubt until the last few minutes. First up was Buckeye division leader Waynesville. Dixie played toe to toe with Waynesville only to lose by a single point. Next up was a team from the big school division of the SWBL, DII Eaton. The Eaton program is having a resurgence this season. After spending several years languishing at the bottom of their division, Eaton has undergone a face lift and has been accumulating W's.
Eaton opened with a zone defense and full court pressure against Dixie. The Greyhounds played some man to man but later fell into a zone. Eaton did a good job of rebounding in the first half - dominating the boards. Johnny Adams paced the Greyhound scoring in the first quarter with 8 points. But he would cool off, finishing the game with 13 points total. Eaton squeaked ahead with a 17-15 first quarter lead. Dixie took the drivers seat in the second quarter, ending the half with a Ben Risner basket for a 30-28 lead.
Behind Sean Kummer, Dixie held onto their lead thru the third quarter. Kummer scored 7 points to keep the Greyhounds out front. In the last quarter, Ben Spahr hit a couple of baskets, but then the Greyhounds hit a stretch where their shots weren't dropping. Early in the quarter, Eaton received bonus for three throws. Now they were sending the Eagles to the foul line where they were knocking down their shots. I counted 13 points for the Eagles in the last quarter from the foul line. Around the 3 minute mark Eaton caught up with and passed Dixie. Dixie gamely stayed on their tails, but could not catch up. The team seemed to tighten up and that resulted in some costly late turnovers. At the final horn, Dixie had lost another close game 62-59.
Foul shooting was one area that Coach Miller was not happy with, “We missed a lot of the front ends of 1 and 1's. Eaton outscored us by 12 at the foul line. They shot 27 foul shots and hit 20. We were 8 of 17. That's the ball game right there. The way we played tonight we didn't deserve a win.” He did admit that he was pleased with Sean Kummer's effort for the weekend, “Sean had around 12 rebounds each night, he scored 20 points for us tonight. “ It was a disappointing weekend for the Greyhounds. Coach Miller did relate that he thought the team could have won both games or at worst split. He didn't expect to drop both games. Hopefully the team can rebound and take some momentum into the State tournament.
Scoring for Dixie: Moore 9, Adams 13, Risner 5, Kummer 20, Spahr 10, Thacker 2.
Dixie's reserve team won their game, free throws by Nick Miller clinched it in the fourth quarter. Scoring: Bates 8, Sinnamon 10, Miles 2, Miller 26, Bentke 11. Comments: email: Chris Tilton