Dyersburg's second quarter propels Trojans to win
Despite being down at the end of the opening frame, the Trojans stormed back in the second eight minutes of action to take a lead they would never relinquish on the way to a 63-48 win over Ashland (Miss.) on the opening day of the 10th Annual Peggy Bain Holiday Hoops Tournament at Alcorn Central Middle School in Glen, Miss.
“It was just good win against a quality team,” Dyersburg head coach Blaine Mahaffey said. “A team with a lot of tradition and a team that’s got a couple good players and will have a chance to win another title in their state.”
D.J. Swift led the way in the opening quarter for the Trojans, getting a three-pointer and a pair of free throws to go along with a trey from Jordan Mosley. But, the Blue Devils got a jumper and a pair of three-pointers from DeAnthony Tipler to help them take an 18-15 lead at the end of the first frame.
“We were ready to play, but some shots just didn’t fall early,” Mahaffey said. “And, that’s part of it. We’ve had a little break.”
The momentum swung into the Trojans’ favor in the second period, though, as the Dyersburg defense held Ashland to just five points before the end of the half. In the meantime, four points from Jadrius Jenkins and Kevin Spencer along with a three-pointer by Tristan Haymon were the foundation of an 17-point second stanza giving the Trojans a 32-23 lead at the break.
The Trojans continued to add to their lead in the third frame as a three-pointer and two buckets from Swift along with a pair of treys by Spencer allowed Dyersburg to push their lead to 51-37 at the end of three quarters.
With a balanced scoring attack led by four points from Swift, the Trojans also got buckets from Spencer, Mosley and Zach Morgan along with a pair of Niko Mann free throws to put the Blue Devils away and advance to the winner’s game of Pool C on Wednesday afternoon.
“Our guys are getting tougher with the basketball,” Mahaffey said. “Ball security is one thing that we’ve really talked about and our kids have been good about.”
“Even though shots are not falling as much the last couple of games, we still continue to defend. And, that’s what we’ve hung our hat on.”
Swift led the way with 18 points for the Trojans while Spencer added 13 in the win. Mosley tossed in nine for Dyersburg.
“We play another quality opponent tomorrow,” Mahaffey said. “Just trying to take more steps to get better.”
The Trojans (9-1) return to action this afternoon when they face Hernando at 3 p.m. at Alcorn Central Middle School.