Lions’ lineups load up to sweep away Ponies in 13A grudge matches

Lions’ lineups load up to sweep away Ponies in 13A grudge matches

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 12:00 pm

By KEVIN WEAKS Press Sports One Dresden team is thin in numbers and a little banged up. The other is at full strength. Huntingdon could not handle either one. The Lions rolled to a pair of big District 13A wins on Tuesday, blowing past the Fillies 49-33 in the girls’ game and then opening up a gap in the second half of the boys’ game en route to a 57-48 decision. Senior guard Alex Glisson suffered an ACL injury on the first play day of the preseason in early November and has been tirelessly working to stay in the lineup that includes just 10 players on the roster. The Dresden boys, meanwhile, have been nearly unbeatable since all the players from the Class 2A state finalist football team returned, Tuesday’s win marking the 13th win in their last 14 games. The Lady Lions improved to 13-4 overall and 9-1 in the district, while the boys are 13-5 and 10-0. Dresden 49, H’don 33 (G) The showdown between two of the league’s best never materialized as Dresden jumped out in front early and never looked back. “The girls came out ready to play,” Dresden head coach Jonathan West said. “Our girls — I don’t want to say they were looking for payback or revenge — wanted to prove a point. This is the only team in the district to beat us in our gym the past two years, and they’re the only district team to beat us this year.” Jessica Jones scored seven of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter as the Lady Lions gave up only field goal while bolting out to a 16-2 advantage after one quarter. “Everybody played well,” West said. “Jessica Jones has been playing well all year, and she did it again tonight. She’s as good as anyone around right now, in my opinion.” Ahead 6-2 midway through the quarter, Dresden closed with a flurry as Jones took back-to-back steals the other way for layups, while Amy McAlpin drove the baseline and Jones popped a triple from the right wing in the final seconds. Running a motion offense to offset some first half foul trouble, Dresden cruised into the break with a 24-11 lead and then broke the game wide open in the third period by doubling Huntingdon’s scoring numbers, 18-6. The Fillies scored the first basket of the second half but were then buried under an avalanche of Dresden points. Carrie Hatchel, Glisson and Jones all hit 3-pointers, while Kristen Childress converted a 3-point play for a 40-17 lead at the 3:01 mark of the third. “I don’t care who you are, no team wants to play defense two or three minutes at a time,” West said. “We made them play defense the last three minutes of the first half, and then they were on defense most of the second half, too.” Childress had nine points, and both Glisson and McAlpin added seven points apiece for Dresden, while Morgan McMackin scored nine points and Madison Ballard added eight for Huntingdon. Dresden 57, H’don 48 (B) Big post player Tyler McPeak capped an explosive third period for Dresden with a bang, ramming home a one-handed dunk off a set play as the buzzer sounded to put the momentum firmly on the Lions’ side. The two teams traded blows throughout the first half, the biggest lead for either squad at four points — 11-7 for Dresden late in the first quarter, and then 16-12 and 18-14 for Huntingdon early in the second period. “We felt we defended all right, but the tempo wasn’t where we wanted it in the first half,” Lions’ head coach Tommy Dilday said. “It was slow, and we weren’t pushing the basketball any. It was a pace that we felt led to them staying in the game more than anything.” Gatlin Hatchel took a steal in for a layup and also bombed a 3-pointer, while Austin Maxey added four points for Dresden in the opening period. But, behind six points from Justin Scott, the Mustangs were even at 11-all by the end of the period. Hatchel and Joseph Sipes each knocked down a trey in the second frame, helping the Lions turn the early four-point deficits into a 24-21 halftime lead. Sipes and Hatchel repeated their long-range shooting in the third, and Maxey hit from mid-range and flashed open underneath for a pair of baskets. McPeak, despite picking up his third foul early in the quarter, made a couple of strong moves along the blocks for baskets before taking a feed from Hatchel to close the quarter with a authority, giving the Lions a 40-30 lead as the horn sounded. “It put us up 10 and was, obviously, a big momentum shift for us,” Dilday said of McPeak’s dunk. “It got the crowd into it and got our kids excited. It was a great pass and play. “Then, in the fourth quarter, we knew they would be helping a lot on Tyler, and that allowed us to get Austin to the rim and keep the lead.” McPeak had another one-hander, again off a set play, and also converted a layup in transition as Dresden built a 55-42 lead in the fourth period. McPeak finished with a game-high 23 points, following up his 24-point effort in a 62-54 win over West Carroll on Friday, while Hatchel added 10 points. Scott had 17, and both Corbin Jackson and Olajuwon Clark had 10 points for Huntingdon. Published in The WCP 1.19.12

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