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Cats vs Hounds in Holiday Tournament
J. C. Tilton

Last week the Dixie Greyhounds squared off against the TVS Panthers in the first round of the 14th Dixie Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament. The other first round game featured a strong Jefferson against a resurgent Stivers basketball team. Jefferson has been ranked locally, but it would be Stivers that won that first round game handily. This game would be a battle of Route 35 as the neighboring schools faced off.

It was apparent early that TVS would try to utilize their height advantage. Offensively the team tried to work the ball inside, and on defense they pressed and tried to tie up the middle. Post Brittany Hayes hit several baskets in the first half for the Panthers. The TVS press was effective early as Dixie had several turnovers that lead to points for the visiting Panthers. Dixie remained in a zone thru much of the game. They did utilize a half court trap in the last of the first quarter to take away some momentum from the Panthers. The Panthers did end up in the lead after the first quarter, but it did cost them 7 first quarter fouls - a pace that South did not want to maintain.

In the second quarter Dixie used some full court pressure of their own to put TVS on their heels. The quarter was fairly even and a Dunn three point shot at the end of the half put Dixie up 29-28. TVS came out in a zone for the 3rd quarter and played half court defense. But Jessi Dunn began to hit her shots and TVS had to switch zones - putting more pressure on the perimeter. Dixie's hard playing Randi Salyer picked up her fourth foul at the end of the quarter. Still Dixie managed to stretch their lead entering the last quarter up 46-41.

After scoring early in the 4th quarter, Dixie had problems finding the basket. TVS pinned Dixie at 48, and began to chip away at that lead. Katie McCoy hit a basket to put TVS within one at the 3:19 mark. Jessi Dunn finally ended the Dixie drought by nailing a critical trey to put Dixie back up. But on South's possession, Dany Lipps chipped in a basket to knot the game at 51 all with 56 seconds left. At this point one of South's tall post players, Freshman Katie McCoy fouled out. Amanda York answered South's challenge by scoring 2 points to give Dixie the lead once again. That would end the scoring - South had a couple of chances at the end of the game but were unable to capitalize and Dixie would survive with the win 53-51.

Coach Money was pleased, “We figured out a way to win. We had foul trouble, but kids off the bench made plays. They [TVS] did a lot of nice things tonight - those two tall players, they are tough to stop. But in the second half we held Hayes to just 6 points. We tried to make a couple of adjustments and they seemed to work out”. Coach Money did acknowledge that, “We got a little lackadaisical in the 4th quarter we were trying to possess the ball and slow it down”. When asked about the late surge by his team he responded, “ I thought that tonight Amanda York really stepped up her game. She had some statistics that you don't see in the paper, a couple of big steals, a couple of big rebounds. Hopefully we can keep this momentum - this is the first time all season that we won two in a row”.

Scoring for Dixie: Kelhoffer 7, Witt 2, Bargo 6, Salyer 3, Dunn 22, Thomas 2, York 11. TVS: Bambeck 6, Lipps 10, Brubaker 2, DuChemin 4, Stone 4, Hayes 19, McCoy 6.
The JV game was a close contest as well. TVS used the press thru out the game. Dixie closed the gap, but in the final period the South team extended their lead and won 40-32. Scoring for TVS: Spitler 7, French 6, Burkett 2, McCollum 10, Ervin 11, Tilton 3, Deleranko 1. Dixie: Witt 4, Barnes 2, Saunders 2, Espey 2, Pappas 10, Hillary 3, Cummins 9. The Dixie reserves won the consolation bracket over Stivers. The TVS team would win the JV Championship in overtime against Jefferson. Scoring for TVS: Spitler 4, French 10, McCollum 6, Niswonger 2, Deleranko 2, Ervin 13, Tilton 2.

The Varsity Panthers would go on to face a tough Jefferson team, they played them tough but lost another close game 52-47. Dixie played against Stivers in the championship game. But Stivers is a force to be reckoned with this season - they won convincingly, 46-32. Comments:

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