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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Youthful Lady Choctaws rout Henry County, continue to show improvement

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dyer County's Courtney Maupin splits defenders Monday night during the 70-44 win over the Lady Patriots.
Entering the season, Dyer County head coach Derek McCord talked about changing the culture when it came to Lady Choctaw basketball.

Eight games into the season, it appears McCord's youthful squad has bought in that belief as well.

On Monday night against Henry County, the young and improving squad looked like a veteran team on the cusp of doing some special things. Playing unselfish and playing hard, the Lady Choctaws got going early and never let up, winning the contest in convincing fashion, 70-44.

"We really shot the ball well tonight, and when we do that our defense gets so much better. We were able to get into our press and create turnovers," said McCord. "This year we are so balanced that it makes us really hard to defend. I thought tonight we really stretched their (Henry County) defense and that all comes from our girls buying in to the system."

Part of the new and improved balanced attack at Dyer County is Hailey Hicks. A freshman, Hicks has the ability to score from anywhere on the floor and isn't afraid to shoot from anywhere on it.

Against the Lady Patriots, the pint-sized guard led the Lady Choctaws with 14 points that included a 4-of-6 performance from beyond the 3-point line, three steals and a handful of assists.

"Hailey has been really solid for a freshman. We're asking her to pressure the ball and she dishes out assists too," said McCord. "She plays with the confidence of a senior and she's a tough kid that is only going to get better."

While Hicks led the squad in scoring, teammate Sara Owen finished with eight points and nine assists, as well as three steals while committing five turnovers at the point.

As a team, the Lady Choctaws connected on 24-of-48 from the field and 12-of-24 at the free-throw line, but were outrebounded by the taller Lady Patriots 50-28.

Once the game was well in hand, McCord played the entire roster, with all but two of those recording points. The head coach knows getting the role players time on the court now will only benefit the team later.

"This is the type of game I like because everybody gets a chance to play," said McCord. "They all practice very hard every day and deserve to get out there and gain some experience."

Dyer County (6-2, 1-0) led 5-4 before applying their own fast and furious style, one that led to a 15-2 run over the final five minutes of the quarter and a 20-2 lead at the end of the period.

In the second period and leading by 17 points, 27-10, Hicks connected on a 3-pointer from the press table to up the advantage to 30-10 with 6:07 left in the half. The two squads played even the rest of the half as DC held a 40-20 lead at the break.

In the second half things slowed down a bit in the scoring column for the Lady Choctaws, but a stingy defensive effort pressed on. McCord removed the starters early in the period with no ill effects as the Lady Choctaws continued to maintain a 20-point lead for the majority of the half, one that led to a lopsided 70-44 final.

Dyer County returns to district play tonight when preseason favorite Munford rolls into Newbern. McCord knows that though his squad is playing well, it will take another solid performance to handle the Lady Cougars.

"I think the district this year goes through Munford. We'll get our first look at them and it's going to be good for us," added McCord. "We've got to come out ready."

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