The long road trip showed no ill effects on either squad.
The Lady Choctaws continued to show improvement against the Lady Patriots, cruising to a lopsided 66-42 victory for their eighth win in the last nine games. In the nightcap, the Choctaws brought out their version of 'Showtime' by simply torching the Patriots 99-51 in a contest where the mercy rule was applied in the fourth quarter.
"I thought both teams just played tremendous and gave excellent efforts," said McCord. "We still have room for improvement, but we're clicking on all cylinders right now and I'm just really proud of both of our teams heading into this break."
The Lady Choctaws, behind a 20-point, nine-rebound performance from sophomore Makayla Enochs, throttled past the Lady Patriots with relative ease. Enochs was solid from start to finish, connecting on 8-of-9 field goals that included two 3-pointers. McCord said afterward the sophomore simply continues to improve as the season goes.
"Makayla was just solid for us again tonight," said McCord. "She works so hard at both ends of the floor and she's only a sophomore, but she plays like a senior."
Dyer County (10-3, 2-1) went on a 10-0 run early in the opening quarter to take a 16-4 lead thanks to an overwhelming defensive effort that left the Lady Patriots flustered during the initial eight minutes. The DC advantage at the end of the period stood at 21-10.
In the second quarter, the Lady Choctaws cooled somewhat and began to have trouble getting anything to fall. Henry County attempted to rally, holding the Lady Choctaws to eight points in the period and cutting the deficit to 29-22 at the half.
In the third quarter, DC's Enochs went off and the Lady Patriots had no answer. With 11 points in the period thanks to some sweet assists from teammate Sara Owen, Enochs pushed the Lady Choctaws in front to a commanding lead at the end of the quarter, 48-29.
In the final period, McCord removed the starters with a 22-point lead to give way to others and the squad didn't miss a beat.
While Enochs led the way with 20 points, teammate Eeonna Jackson also finished in double figures with 11. Amber Webb and Kaylee Luckett chipped in with 8 and 7 points, respectively. Point guard Sara Owen finished with six points and six assists.
As a team, the Lady Choctaws connected on 22-of-40 attempts from the field for 55 percent, while hitting 11-of-30 at the charity stripe and forcing 17 turnovers while committing 14.
In the boys game, Dyer County (12-1, 3-0) senior Robert Hubbs dazzled the Patriot crowd throughout the contest. In 24 minutes of action, Hubbs finished with 32 points that included four dunks and four 3-pointers, with two of those coming from well beyond the NBA 3-point line.
While Hubbs wowed the crowd throughout the game, teammate Jamaal Ahmad made the most of his second game back from a serious ankle injury by scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
The game was the second between the two teams this season. The first encounter, a 67-61 DC win played on Dec.3 in Newbern, was one McCord didn't feel his squad played at their best. On Friday, the head coach had no complaints.
"We were firing on all cylinders and we're pretty tough to handle when we play the way we did tonight," said McCord. "I thought our pressure was really good, we made shots and had a great night at the free-throw line."
The Patriots rode the momentum of the home crowd for as long as it lasted on Friday, leading for the majority of the first quarter. After initially knotting the contest at 12-12 on a basket from Markeston Bostic midway through the period, Ahmad sank four straight at the charity stripe before scoring in transition to put DC in front 18-12.
The Patriots never threatened again.
A 21-15 lead at the end of the quarter grew to a 44-25 lead at the half and it was all Choctaws for the rest of the contest. Hubbs had 15 points alone in the third quarter as DC raced out to a 75-41 advantage.
In addition to Hubbs and Ahmad, LaMarcus Mosley finished in double figures with 11 points that included a 3-for-4 performance from long range.
As a team the Choctaws shot the ball extremely well, connecting 60 percent of the time after hitting on 32-of-53 attempts. The squad also took advantage of 29 trips to the charity stripe, making 25.