Choctaws snap skid with win over Eagles
The Dyer County Choctaws got back on the winning track on Tuesday night, ending a five-game losing streak with a 92-61 win over MHEA at Dyer County High School as the orange and white celebrated homecoming.
“It was good to see us get off to a good start tonight,” Dyer County head coach Derek McCord said. “We started forcing some turnovers with our press.
“We kept trying to talk about controlling the tempo and keeping the pace fast.”
The Eagles kept it close early as MHEA answered six points from Rico Quinton and four more from Vinson Taylor with a trio of three-pointers and a jumper by Austin Brown to stay on the Choctaws’ heels at 15-14.
Dyer County started to get a little breathing room in the second quarter as former MHEA Eagle Caleb Ball led the way for the Choctaws, scoring eight in the final eight minutes of the first half. Quinton added five and Jefhry Taylor tossed in four more as part of a 28-point second quarter to push the Dyer County lead to 43-30 at the break.
The Choctaw offense continued to fire in the third quarter, countering 15 points from the Eagles with an output in the third almost identical to what had come in the second frame. Again, Ball led the way, this time with 11 points while Quinton scored seven more and Jefhry Taylor added four more to help the Choctaws push their lead to 70-45 heading into the final frame.
The Choctaws put the Eagles away in the fourth quarter, outscoring MHEA 22-16 in the final eight minutes with Tray Swift leading the way with eight points.
“We had a big second and third quarter from Rico Quinton and Caleb Ball,” McCord said. “Jefhry Taylor got the starting nod at point guard tonight.
“The thing with Jefhry is you know he’s always going to guard and play aggressive. He got a lot of 50/50 balls and a lot of hustle points.”
Quinton led the way for the Choctaws with 20 points while Ball added 19 in the win. Swift scored 11 off the bench for Dyer County.
“Hopefully, we can get some momentum and keep the shots falling,” McCord said. “We knocked down shots tonight and we had guys like Tray Swift coming off the bench for 11 points. Freshman Jacob Anderson continues to play well. That’s what we’ve got to have – have other people step up.”
MHEA girls 62, Dyer County 47
The Lady Eagles never trailed as MHEA spoiled the Lady Choctaws homecoming with a 15-point win over Dyer County in girls action.
“They’ve got a lot of girls that are big on the AAU circuit in the summertime,” McCord said. “Their girls spend a lot of time in the gym and it’s obvious.
“They were the more physical team tonight. They were more aggressive, beat us to a lot of loose balls. Against a team like that – that shoots the ball as well as they do – you’ve got to get all the loose balls and hustle points and balance things out with how good they are offensively.”
The Lady Eagles were a two-girl show in the opening frame, getting eight points from Lindsay Vaughn and six from Annaliese Burnett to counter a balanced scoring attack from the Lady Choctaws with two points each coming from Alexis Akins, Torri Daniels, Katelyn Anderson and Amaria Pugh to take a 14-8 lead after the opening quarter.
The Lady Choctaws came out stronger in the second quarter, getting eight points from Akins and three more from Pugh, but the Lady Eagles matched Dyer County’s output as Kylie Loadholt led the way for the MHEA with eight points during frame as the Lady Eagles took a 25-19 lead at the break.
MHEA began to pull away in the third quarter as Burnett sank six three-pointers as part of a 23-point effort from the Lady Eagles in the first eight minutes of the second half. Pugh scored seven of the Lady Choctaws’ dozen points in that frame – all from the line – as Dyer County trailed 48-31 going into the final frame.
MHEA’s lead swelled to as much as 20 during the final frame as the Lady Eagles held off a late Lady Choctaw surge to spoil the opening game of Dyer County’s homecoming.
“Annaliese Burnett was just dominant tonight,” McCord said. “She had six in the first quarter and 18 in the third quarter. We had absolutely no answer for her in the third quarter.”
Akins led the way for the Lady Choctaws with 18 points while Pugh added 14 in the loss.
Dyer County returns to action on Friday night when the Choctaws and Lady Choctaws resume District 13AAA play as they host Hardin County beginning at 6 p.m.