No. 6 Trojans open district play with big win over Rebels
The sixth-ranked Dyersburg Trojans got the second half of their season and District 13AA play off to a good start on Tuesday night, dominating the early part of the second half to add to an already double-digit lead on their way to a 64-51 win over Obion County Central in the Terry Glover Gymnasium.
“Happy for our guys because they deserve it,” Trojan head coach Blaine Mahaffey said. “With the effort they put forth every day and the effort they put forth every night, I am very happy for them.
“But any time you can win at home – regardless of the opponent – and hold serve at home, that’s a plus, especially in league play because they become so important.”
The win for the Trojans over the Rebels is Dyersburg’s first against their District 13AA rival since Jan. 18, 2013, ending a seven-game losing streak to Central.
“Just happy for our guys,” Mahaffey said. “Obion is good and big. They gave us problems but our kids battled.”
The Rebels looked to continue the streak early, jumping out to a six-point lead to start the game before a three-pointer by Brandon Williams was followed by a layup from Jadrius Jenkins and a pair of Zach Morgan three-pointers to give the Trojans an 11-6 lead with 3:35 left in the opening frame. A three-pointer from Holden King and a bucket from Blake Higgins cut the Dyersburg lead to one before a late three-pointer from Tristan Haymon helped give Dyersburg a 15-13 lead after one quarter.
The Rebels stayed close early in the second frame but a three-pointer from Jordan Mosley opened a 13-2 run through much of the quarter which also included a pair of Williams treys to extend the Dyersburg lead to 30-20 at the break.
The Trojans opened the second half with dominance, getting two jumpers and a pair of treys from D.J. Swift as well as four points from Mosley to comprise a 14-0 run to start the third quarter. The Rebels answered, but weren’t able to cut far into the Dyersburg lead as a Kevin Spencer three-pointer an a late Josh Livingston free throw gave the Trojans a commanding 49-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Dyersburg’s lead swelled to 22 points on two occasions early in the final frame, as a Williams three-pointer opened an 8-2 run capped by a three-point play from Jenkins to put the Trojans on top 57-35. After a brief Rebel rally, Dyersburg got buckets from Swift, Spencer and Mosley to take a 63-41 lead before Mahaffey cleared his bench. Obion County outscored Dyersburg 10-1 from there but the Trojans held off the Rebels for the win.
“I thought we did a good job of sharing it and spacing it and trying to make the extra pass,” Mahaffey said. “And, that’s who our kids are. We also got some good penetration at the rim.”
Swift led the way with 16 points for the Trojans while Williams added a dozen and Mosley tossed in 11.
The No. 6 Trojans hit the road on Friday as they travel to Milan to face the Bulldogs in another District 13AA contest.
“One at a time, obviously,” Mahaffey said. “Just pleased with the outcome tonight. Now we’ve got to go on the road and road games in district games are tough.”
Dyersburg girls 43, Obion Co. Central 32
Earlier in the night, the Lady Trojans picked up their fourth win in a row over Obion County, holding off a pesky Lady Rebel team for an 11-point win.
“We kept trying to stress to the girls during timeouts ‘let’s try to get some distance between us,’” Dyersburg head coach Joel Ayers said. “But, their team did a good job of just hanging around and defensively doing some things as well as getting some shots, especially in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we did a really good job defensively the first three quarters.”
The Lady Trojans jumped out to a big lead early, getting three-pointers from Jani Crawford and Samariah Thompson as part of an 11-2 run to start the game as Dyersburg took a 14-5 lead after one quarter.
Dyersburg pushed its lead to double figures early in the second quarter with a jumper from Crawford and a layup by Thompson but the Lady Rebels battled back, getting a 7-0 run to cut into the Dyersburg lead. A pair of late Crawford free throws put Dyersburg up 20-14 at the break.
The Lady Trojans built their lead back to a dozen during the third quarter as three-pointers from Faith Sherrow and Crawford, along with a Cloe Messer layup put Dyersburg up 28-16. Late buckets from Obion County’s Nellina Wooten and Jenna Smith cut the gap to eight points heading into the final frame.
The Lady Rebels didn’t get much closer, trimming the lead by only a point once during the final eight minutes after a Wooten bucket. But, the Lady Trojans answered with a Crawford jumper and free throws from Thompson and Crawford to seal the win for Dyersburg.
“Holding a team to 32, that’s not a bad job defensively,” Ayers said. “We haven’t played in two weeks. For a team that hasn’t played a game in two weeks, there’s some of that basketball shape that you lose.
“We’ve been practicing, but that’s not playing a basketball game.”
Crawford led the way with 21 points while Thompson added nine in the win.
“Overall, they really played hard,” Ayers said. “I thought we were really gritty all night long. We had some mistakes and miscues, but it’s a good start to the district.
“Big-time basketball now. We’ve got about another four to five weeks of big-time games.”
Dyersburg returns to action on Friday night when the Trojans and Lady Trojans travel to Milan for a 6 p.m. tipoff.