The Lady Trojans figured to face a tough task against Gibson County considering the first game of the season ended with Dyersburg edging the Lady Pioneers 62-60. In the second game of the series on Tuesday night, the loss was avenged as the Lady Trojans struggled late and lost the contest, 71-58.
The Trojan boys, in the midst of a three-game slide, enjoyed a better start and a much better finish than in previous games to win 56-43 over the Pioneers. The much-needed victory was one that left Dyersburg at 10-14 overall and 6-9 in district play.
The fact that the Pioneers entered the contest with an overall mark of 4-20 was of no concern to the Trojans. Make no mistake about it, with the regular season set to wrap up in a week, Dyersburg needed a win in the worst way and the Pioneers were just the team to help the Trojans end the skid.
Though the Trojans trailed 15-14 at the end of the first quarter and ended the first half deadlocked at 26-26 with Gibson County, a better half was on its way and it all began to come together in the third quarter, sort of.
Dyersburg had a 6-0 spurt to start the period as the Pioneers went cold from the field and missed their first 10 shots and failed to record a field goal for the first five minutes of the period. The problem was that the Trojans, while leading, couldn't pull away.
Though seemingly in control, Dyersburg's lead at the end of the period was only 38-35 despite Gibson County making just 1-of-12 attempts from the field. The Pioneers did make 7-of-12 from the charity stripe however to keep the game from getting out of hand.
In the final period, one the Trojans had struggled in over the past few weeks, Dyersburg wouldn't be denied. Throughout the quarter, things went from bad to worse for the Pioneers. The end result was a hard-earned win for Dyersburg while the rebuilding Pioneers suffered their 21st loss of the season.
Kevin Shaw led four Trojans in double figures with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Jay Howard had 13, Brice Williams added 12 and Wilson Armstrong was a force in the paint and finished with 10.
As a team, the Trojans shot the ball well both from the field as well as at the free-throw line, connecting on 21-of-43 attempts from the floor and making 12-of-14 at the charity stripe. Dyersburg outrebounded the Pioneers 22-18 and did an outstanding job of sharing the ball, finishing with 17 assists compared to four for Gibson County.
In the girls' contest, the Lady Trojans ran into a hot Gibson County squad that very much looked like a team Dyersburg doesn't want to see in the district tournament, though the two teams should meet in the opening round.
The Lady Pioneers, behind 24 points from Cara Beth Holt, broke open a close game in the fourth quarter by outscoring Dyersburg 22-12 over the final eight minutes to secure the district win.
The Lady Trojan loss overshadowed a superb performance from Myah Taylor. The talented sophomore finished the contest with a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds. Taylor scored 20 of those points and grabbed five rebounds in the first half. Adjustments made by the Lady Pioneers that included a much better effort to slow Taylor down in the second half proved successful.
Dyersburg led 20-19 at the end of the first period before heading to the half ahead by the same margin, 35-34.
In the third quarter, with the majority of the Gibson County focus on stopping Taylor, the Lady Pioneers held a 49-46 advantage with one quarter to play. Perhaps fatigued from a tough game against Westview on Monday, Dyersburg appeared out of gas down the stretch as Gibson County ran away for the 14-point victory.
In addition to Taylor, teammate Chari Swift also ended the game in double figures, finishing with 15 points and five rebounds.