The result was an early knockout by the Choctaws over the Tigers, 70-43, in a contest Dyer County head coach Derek McCord earned his 200th win in just seven seasons spearheading the program.
While McCord was happy to reach the milestone, he was more pleased with the way his squad rose to the challenge against a talented Hardin County squad that entered the game with just one loss on the season.
As for the milestone of reaching 200 wins, McCord said the feat was accomplished due to far more than his coaching ability, citing numerous reasons the program has elevated to new heights under his direction.
"When we came in here and started this thing we had no idea what was going to happen. The program was coming off of back-to-back three-win seasons and it was going to take a lot of work to turn it around," he said. "The biggest reason we are where we are is, No.1 we have had some great kids that have bought into our system. We have a great and supportive administration and the best basketball fans in the entire state. We have a lot of fun in our program and our kids think they can win every game. When you have kids that feel that way, you're going to have success I believe."
Despite a slow start that resulted in a 12-7 DC lead at the end of the quarter, a 26-point second quarter highlighted by an alley-oop, rim-rattling dunk from LaMarcus Mosley to Robert Hubbs III lifted the Choctaws in front by double digits 26-15 with 2:30 lift in the half.
Over the final two minutes of the quarter, DC outscored the Tigers 12-4 to take a commanding, 38-19 lead at the break.
Things went from bad to worse for the Tigers in the third quarter. Leading by 28 and running away with the district contest, Hubbs drove from the baseline and threw down a thunderous dunk to up the Choctaw advantage to 59-29 and the rout was on.
The mercy rule was applied in the final quarter as the Choctaws cruised to their 20th win of the season.
Mosley led the Choctaw attack with 19 points that included four 3-pointers, Hubbs finished with a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists, and Malik Pugh continued to show improvement at the point by finishing with 16 points and just two turnovers.