By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Dyersburg girls’ coach Randy Coffman wasn’t around for the ending of his team’s loss to Obion Central Tuesday night.
Rebel boys’ skipper Bill Kail wasn’t that lucky.
Coffman was ejected early in the fourth quarter after picking up his second technical foul in what was ultimately a 68-55 loss to the Lady Rebels.
The visiting caoch was no doubt upset at a wide free throw discrepancy enjoyed by OC in Game 1 as Central hit 28-of-42 foul shots to just 5-of-7 for the Lady Trojans, who were called for twice as many fouls (32) as the host Rebel girls.
In the nightcap, Obion Central blew a double-figure second-half lead, particularly falling apart in the final three minutes as Dyersburg ran off 13 straight points for a 61-59 come-from-behind triumph.
The Rebels were guilty of turnovers on three consecutive possessions — part of a 17-turnover second half — to help fuel the Trojan rally.
Obion Central is now 7-1 overall and perfect in three District 13AA games on the girls’ side and 4-4 and 1-2, respectively, in boys’ play.
OC plays host to Ripley on Friday in its next night out.
OC 68, D’burg 55 (G)
Though runs of 9-0 to start the game and a streak of 10 consecutive points to begin the second half were just as telling, the wide difference between the two teams at the charity stripe was an obvious point of contention.
“We got to the free throw line because we attacked the middle and they kept shooting 3-pointers for the first three quarters,” OC head coach Lyle LaRue said from his vantage point. “That was our plan.”
Brandi Goodman had 10 of her game-high 31 points in the first period and six of those during the aforementioned game-opening flurry. Shannon Wiggins’ old fashioned 3-point play was also part of that impressive start. It was 15-5 after Rachel Jones sank a 3-pointer with the contest just five minutes old.
The Lady Trojans battled back, though, forging a 30-all halftime deadlock with the aid of its outside shooting and a handful of Central turnovers.
Much as they did to start the game, though, the Rebel girls dominated the opening minutes of the third stanza — running off 10 unanswered markers and holding the visitors without a single point for more than five minutes. Paige Hicks’ trifecta just before the quarter’s end extended the difference to 47-35 heading into the stretch run.
Having been given his first technical foul with 28 seconds left in the first quarter, Coffman was tagged again for not staying confined to his bench seat and earned an automatic ejection with 6:02 to play.
His D’burg team seemed briefly motivated by the action — cutting an 11-point deficit to 51-48 on Christina Moore’s two free throws with 4:17 to go.
But OC, which made 15-of-24 from the line in the fourth quarter alone, hit 10-of-13 charities at crunch time to preserve the win.
Hicks sank four straight, Diana Flippen made 3-of-4 and Ali McEwen also connected twice during that span.
Hicks joined Goodman in double figures with 13 points for Central.
D’burg 61, OC 59 (B)
Kail did not mince words after seeing his team collapse and drop a game it had controlled for the most part.
“There’s no way to sugar coat it, we lost the ballgame in the last three minutes after playing well for the first 29,” he said. “Our inability to handle the basketball and their pressure killed us. I called three timeouts and told our kids what we had to do and what we needed to do.
“If we take care of the ball, we’re sitting here 2-1 in the district rather than being 1-2.”
The Rebels took a lead late in the first quarter they would hold until 2:20 remained in the game after a Bryan Morris bucket and pretty Morris feed to Tyler Mosley that resulted in a deuce just before the opening-period buzzer.
Shawn Logan’s trey at the halftime horn gave OC a 33-22 cushion.
Though the Trojans cut into that double-digit deficit with a spurt of eight straight points late in the third canto, a 3-point play by Brett Scillion and three free throws by Joe Wiggins after the quarter was over left the difference at 45-37.
The margin was still eight (55-47) with the final frame half over before Dyersburg seized control.
Deyvon Pierce, who scored all but two of his game-high 27 points in the second half, converted a stickback hoop with 2:20 to go to give the Trojans their first lead since the opening minutes at 55-54.
Down 61-57 as the clock wound down, Logan was fouled with two-tenths of a second to play while attempting a 3-point shot. The Rebel guard made the first two free throws, but missed the third intentionally to no avail.
Logan led the Rebels with 21 points, while Morris scored 15 and Scillion added 11.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 12.5.12