For Lions, county title nice twice
Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
Dresden became Weakley County Middle School champions in both girls’ and boys’ basketball Thursday night with the girls beating Gleason 31-25 and the boys beating Martin 63-35 in the county tournament at Sharon.
The Lady Lions got a game-high 13 points from Kasey Gallimore as they held off the upset-minded Lady Bulldogs to take home the crown in the girls’ game.
The Panthers could not stop the Lions in the second half as Dresden outscored Martin 36-16 to cap off an undefeated season with a 14-0 record and take home the championship.
Dresden 31, Gleason 25 (G)
Gallimore scored a 3-pointer the old fashioned way with 1:31 remaining in the game to give the Lady Lions a four-point lead at 29-25.
Lillian Nichols made it a 26-25 game with her layup after a Dresden turnover with 1:45 remaining, and it seemed like the momentum was swinging Gleason’s way with a six-point run. But then Gallimore dashed all hopes of a Gleason championship with her 3-point play.
The championship win gave the Lady Lions an 11-3 record for the season. The Lady Bulldogs end with a 9-7 record.
After the game, a smiling Dresden head coach Nathan Russell said his defense won it for them in the second half.
“Our defense did a fine job tonight,” he said. “That was our game plan coming in. We wanted to try to keep everything out of the lanes. We came out first in that 2-3 zone and kept giving them open looks. We could not get a hand in their faces, and they kept knocking them down. When we went to our man defense, we created a lot of problems for them.”
The Lady Bulldogs came out hot in the first period and outscored the Lady Lions 9-1 in the first four-and-a-half minutes of the game with Lady Bulldogs scoring, including a 3-pointer by Kelsey Borneman.
The Lady Lions came roaring back with a nine-point run that got started by Grace Finch’s 3-pointer at the end of the first period. Dresden outscored Gleason in the second period 10-4 to take a 17-15 lead at the half.
Gleason tied the game at 17 on a pair of free throws by Nichols, and then Gallimore gave the lead right back to Dresden on her own pair of charities.
Macie Rollins tied it back up for Gleason on her layup with 2:31 to play in the third.
Dresden ended the third on a 3-pointer by Callen Killibrew and two free throws by Gallimore to take a 24-19 lead.
Alex Sledd made it a seven-point game on her layup to start the final period, and then the Lady Bulldogs scored the next six points to make it a one-point game with 1:45 to play. But that was as close as the Lady Bulldogs could get as Dresden scored the last five points of the game.
Finch scored nine points for the champions, followed by Sledd with six and Killibrew with three. Nichols led Gleason with 11 points with Rollins scoring eight.
Mahlese McDonald and Borneman each scored three points for the second place Lady Bulldogs.
Dresden 63, Martin 35 (B)
The Lions capped off a perfect 14-0 season by showing why they have been undefeated leading up the county championship game.
The Lions dominated the Panthers in the second half with Dresser Winn scoring 16 of his game-high 22 points in the second half.
Quincey McDonald scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half to give the Lions some momentum going into the second half.
Dresden held a narrow 10-7 lead after one period and went on a nine-point run started by a 3-pointer from McDonald with three seconds left in the first period.
Martin’s Ty Kelly ended the run on his layup with 3:56 to play in the half to make it a 16-9 game.
Dresden’s Brice Williams gave the Lions a 10-point lead with 1:31 to play. Winn capped off the first half with his basket to give the Lions a 27-18 lead.
The 11-point halftime lead gave the Lions plenty of confidence coming out in the second half and they quickly scored six straight points to give them a 33-18 lead.
“We were confident, and we had a lot to prove after last year,” Dresden head coach Justin West said. “We kind of took one on the chin last year against Martin, so we had a lot to prove and we remembered that. We were motivated and we were not going to let an upset happen tonight.”
Jordan Mitchell and Williams each scored eight points for the champions. Andrew Daniel scored five while Dylan Yates and Blasé Cashion each scored two points.
Ryan Sams and Matt McMillan each led the Panthers with nine points. Kelly scored eight followed by Tyler Hopper with seven and Cameron Jones with two.
The Lions will be losing all of their starters, who are eighth-graders, and nine eighth-graders in all from their championship team.
West said all of the seventh-graders will back and they are talented, but they did not get much playing time because of his very talented eighth-grade class.
“Our seventh-grade group just cannot get on the floor because our eighth-grade group is so talented,” West said.
The Lions will be losing Winn, McDonald, Williams, Mitchell and Cashion. who are all starters.
The other eighth-graders are Kyle Hutcherson, Garrison Smith, Austin Thomas and Dylan Yates. Published in The WCP 12.18.12