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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Trojans allow Tomcats to escape

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dyersburg's Kevin Shaw makes a drive to the basket in his last homecoming game as a Trojan. Shaw hit a critical 3 in the third quarter to keep the game close heading into the fourth period. The Trojans lost to their district rivals 70-57.
Dyersburg High School saluted our local heroes during its annual basketball homecoming event on Friday evening. The theme of the evening was "A Hero's Homecoming" as current and former Trojans came together to honor the men and women serving in our armed forces and civil service professions.

However, the Haywood County Tomcats were in no mood for celebrations, looking to spoil the festivities and steal victories away from their district rivals. In the girls contest, the Lady Tomcats proved unsuccessful, losing to a much more athletic Lady Trojan squad by a final score of 87-39. The boys contest was much more thrilling, but for the second game in a row the Trojans were unable to finish, losing to the Tomcats 70-57.

The Lady Trojans celebrated their victory by watching teammate Sydney Coffman crowned homecoming queen just prior to the boys contest. Coffman, the daughter of Lady Trojan head coach Randy Coffman, also scored nine points in the game, hitting three baskets from beyond the arc.

"I'm very proud of my daughter," said Coffman. "I know how hard she's worked. Yes I'm a proud dad, but I'm just as proud of our basketball team. A lot of girls contributed and we were really unselfish."

After the homecoming festivities it was time for the Dyersburg boys to tame the Tomcats. The game began with Haywood winning the opening tipoff and scoring a quick basket that left Trojan head coach Blaine Mahaffey fuming. After calling for a timeout to regroup his team, the Trojans came out ready to work scoring the next five points, which was followed by the Tomcats scoring five points in a row of their own.

The Trojans showed excellent ball movement in the opening period with nice inside passes from Brice Williams, who finished the evening with 12 points and nine boards. The inside passes led to quick point opportunities for Jay Howard, who was the Trojans' leading scorer on the evening with 14 points, half his points coming in the first period. Each squad continued to battle throughout the first quarter for control of the game, but ended the period tied at 17.

In the second period Haywood opened up its biggest lead, a five-point advantage, up until that point in the game. The Tomcats maintained the lead most of the second quarter until Dyersburg's Deyvon Pierce hit a big 3 with 1:12 remaining in the half that would allow the Trojans to take a one-point lead, 29-28. The lead was short-lived as Haywood came back to retake the lead and the Trojans would go into the locker room down 32-31.

The game continued to be a tight contest throughout the third period, but then midway through the third the Tomcats went on an 8-2 run to open up a six-point lead over Dyersburg 39-33. Dyersburg's Kevin Shaw and Howard hit baskets from beyond the arc in each ensuing possession for the Trojans to cut the Tomcat lead to two, 41-39. The squads closed out the period matching basket for basket and Haywood headed into the final quarter with a two-point advantage 47-45.

The Trojans would take their first lead of the second half on the strength of another Pierce downtown basket with 4:05 remaining in the game. The lead would change hands several times over the next two minutes of the game with Dyersburg's last lead coming with 2:12 left in the game, 56-55. Facing a critical possession with 1:58 remaining and down 59-57, the Trojans called another timeout to draw out their play. The Trojans would bring the ball out from under their own hoop, but a critical turnover near half court would allow the Tomcats a fast break that was turned into an easy dunk and ultimately took away any hope the Trojans had for victory. Dyersburg would not score another point as the Tomcats would score the final 13 points in the contest.

It was the second time this week that the Trojans played a game close for three quarters only to collapse in the final period of the game. The loss drops Dyersburg to 7-11 overall and 5-8 in district play.

Despite the Trojans loss, the Lady Trojans had cause to celebrate as they rebounded after two tough district losses to Covington and Obion County. The Lady Trojans hit 12 baskets from beyond the arc, four of them courtesy of Emily Bennett who finished with 16 points on the evening. Also in double figures was Myah Taylor, who led all scorers with 24 and Chari Swift with 15.

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