Lions not slowed in pursuit of title
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 1:06 pm
Clarksburg’s home is now simply Dresden South.
The Lions finished a dominant run the through the District 13A Tournament — the full district schedule, for that matter — by pounding the host Rockets 78-59 in the championship game Monday night.
With the win, the third this season against Clarksburg as well as the third in the Rockets’ gymnasium, Dresden completed a clean sweep of the district by posting a 3-0 mark in the tournament following a 16-0 run in the regular season.
The Lions are now 22-6 on the season and will host Union City in the first round of the Region 7A Tournament on Friday night. It will be a rematch of last year’s regional opener, which UC won to end the Lions’ season. Clarksburg, meanwhile, will host Greenfield.
Huntingdon defeated Bruceton 58-46 in the consolation game Monday and will travel to District 14A runner-up Lake County, while Bruceton will visit 14A champion Humboldt. Those games will also be played on Friday night. The region event will then move to Trenton Peabody for the semifinal and championship games.
“We know Union City will be a tough test,” Dresden coach Tommy Dilday said of the team that owns two wins over the Lions this season. “But, we’ll show up and play hard. I can promise you that.”
Dresden certainly showed up Monday night.
The Lions battled back from an early deficit to build a double-digit advantage early in the second period.
Then, after the Rockets got close again late in the first half, Dresden spent most of the second half stretching the margin back out.
Dresden’s big final push came in the fourth quarter with an 11-2 run after Clarksburg’s Devon Bailey answered three Lion buckets with three of his own to keep the Rockets within 10 points.
“We just spread the floor out, and they had to start widening their defense,” Dilday said. “When they did that, we started attacking the rim.”
Austin Daniel had six points in that run, helping him become one of four Dresden players in double figures.
Joseph Sipes led the Lions with 21 points, while Tyler McPeak had 14, Daniel added 11 and Austin Maxey pitched in 10.
Dilday also noted the scoring production of his bench, which combined for 16 points.
“Our bench was big for us tonight,” the Dresden skipper said. “And, not just in their minutes and defense. They came up with some big shots for us. It was a total team effort. It was one of our best games in awhile, and it came at the right time.”
While Dresden was sharing the scoring wealth, the Rockets relied on one player.
Bailey, named the league’s Most Valuable Player, scored a game-high 31 points with a combination of 3-point shooting and acrobatic drives to the basket.
“He’s going to score his,” Dilday said. “We helped out on him early, and then when we got out to a lead, we didn’t help as much. He made some shots, and he’s going to. He’s just a good player. We won’t miss him next year.”
McPeak gave Dresden its first lead at 7-6 when he went up strong for a putback at 4:54 of the first period. The Lions were never tied or behind again, leading by five points three times late in the first and then building a 12-point, 28-16 advantage in the second on a pair of baskets in the lane from Kaleb Davidson.
Bailey closed with a flurry, though, as he made a couple of nice moves in the lane, hit twice at the free throw line and knocked down a 3-pointer to get the Rockets within 30-27 with a minute to play in the half.
“We thought they caught us in the second quarter when we settled for shooting the ball instead of going to the rim,” Dilday said. “But, by the same token, I told our kids that the rim was due to get in our way one time. I told them, Joseph (Sipes) and Austin Maxey especially, to keep shooting because they would start making them. And, they did in the second half.”
Those two players had a 3-pointer, Sipes also hitting four times from the line, as the Lions weathered three triples from Clarksburg to take a 50-37 lead with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.
The margin would stay in double figures the rest of the way, reaching 22 at 78-56 in the final seconds.
McPeak, Hatchel, Daniel and Sipes were All-13A picks, as were Colton Halter and Jarvis Pearson in joining Bailey. Clarksburg’s Mike Limbaugh was tabbed the league’s top coach. Published in The WCP 2.21.12