Sweet sixteen: Trojan 16-game winning streak continues as DHS blows out Milan
Despite falling behind during the opening quarter, the Trojans ended the first half in dominant fashion, outscoring the Bulldogs by 16 down the stretch in the second quarter on their way to a 75-34 win over Milan on Student Appreciation Night in the Terry Glover Gymnasium on Tuesday night, earning the team’s 16th straight victory.
“The guys have answered the bell all year,” Dyersburg head coach Blaine Mahaffey said. “You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Milan – they’ve played everybody close here in the last two weeks.
“I think they had a lot to do with it.”
After an 8-2 run down the stretch during the first frame gave the Bulldogs an 18-14 lead, the Trojans rallied to open the second frame as Kevin Spencer got an early layup then a pair of free throws to tie the score with 6:49 left in the half. Milan answered with a pair of free throws from DaVante Herron, but the Trojan offense went on a roll midway through the quarter. A layup from Niko Mann got the ball rolling and was followed by a short jumper from Tristan Haymon and a bucket by Spencer to put the Trojans on top 24-20 with 4:08 left in the frame. A Dallas Ingram bucket briefly interrupted the Dyersburg run, but a jumper and a trey from Brandon Williams opened another run that was highlighted by a pair of Jadrius Jenkins three-pointers to push Dyersburg to a 38-25 lead at the end of the first half.
The Trojan momentum carried into the third frame as a Jenkins bucket was followed by four points from Spencer to spark a 13-2 run to start the second half and build a 51-27 lead for the Trojans. Dyersburg added four points from D.J. Swift as well as a three-pointer by Jordan Mosley as a late layup from Zach Morgan put the Trojans on top 60-33 heading into the final frame.
After an early Milan bucket, three-pointers from Mann and Mosley opened the scoring for the Trojans who ended the game on a 15-0 run capped by a Marquail Hill layup as Dyersburg’s defense held the Bulldogs scoreless the rest of the night on the way to the 41-point win.
“They came out with a lot of energy and we didn’t match it,” Mahaffey said. “And, we had a couple to get in some foul trouble and we had to change our lineup a little and that changed some rhythm.
“Happy for the guys – they got it going.”
Swift led the way for the Trojans with 12 points while Jenkins added 11. Spencer tossed in 10 in the win for Dyersburg.
“They don’t get rattled,” Mahaffey said. “They don’t get too high or too low. That’s what makes them pretty good.”
With the win, the Trojans (21-1, 7-0) finish the month of January with a perfect 9-0 mark and unbeaten since Dec. 6 and sets up a matchup with the team currently in second place in 13AA, Westview – who defeated South Gibson 73-55 in Martin on Tuesday night.
“They’re a good basketball team,” Mahaffey said. “First and foremost, tonight, we had to make sure we held serve at home and handled the task at hand.
“Now, we can turn our attention to Westview. They’re a good basketball team. There’s a reason they have been running roughshod over this league the last four or five years. It should be a good environment and a good basketball game. Our kids need to show up ready to play because I know they will.”
Friday night will also be Senior Night for the boys basketball team and cheerleading squad. Mahaffey noted with the amount of seniors between the two basketball teams as well as cheer and dance that it just made sense to split the senior night festivities into two nights.
Mahaffey also praised the student section, who held Whiteout Night during the contests with Milan.
“Our students need to be acknowledged,” Mahaffey said. “They’ve been great all year and it’s been fun for them.
“We’d love to see some more people there on Friday.”
Dyersburg girls 59, Milan 35
A big run to open the game set the tone and proved to be a difference maker as the Lady Trojans also got a good start to the second half during their 24-point win over Milan.
“We played better tonight and part of that was we made shots,” Dyersburg head coach Joel Ayers said. “When we made shots, it allowed us to play a little looser and created a little energy.”
The win over the Lady Bulldogs snaps the Lady Trojans’ five-game losing streak and improves their record to 16-8 (3-4 in 13AA).
“That’s one thing we really harp on is, whether it’s a good or bad situation, figure out ways to create energy and pass that on to your teammates,” Ayers said. “Making some shots did that and we did some good stuff defensively.”
A three-pointer from Faith Sherrow put the Lady Trojans on the board 25 seconds into the game as Essence Bailey took over, scoring six unanswered points. Jani Crawford added a trey and a layup before a Denisha Emerson trifecta capped the 17-0 run by the Dyersburg to open the game and give the Lady Trojans a big lead early. Milan battled back with a balanced scoring attack as a pair of Sakia Rose free throws capped an 8-0 Lady Bulldog run. A late Bre Howard bucket put the Lady Trojans up 19-8 at the end of the first frame.
The Lady Trojans regained the momentum in the second frame, getting buckets from Crawford and Sherrow to open a run capped by a jumper and a trey from Bailey to give Dyersburg an 18-point lead with 3:11 left in the half. Milan rallied with a quick run capped by a Chelseah Moore three-pointer to cut the Dyersburg lead to 30-17 at the half.
After an early Milan bucket to start the third frame, Dyersburg got a pair of three-pointers from Emerson as well as another by Sherrow to open a 16-2 run which also included a Howard trey that helped Dyersburg take a commanding 48-25 lead after three frames.
Highlighted offensively by three-pointers from Mari Hanna Newsom and Howard, the Lady Trojans kept the Milan girls at bay on the other end of the court to take the 24-point win.
“I really liked our effort tonight,” Ayers said. “I really liked our intensity and I liked the way we created energy. Overall, I think we did a better job tonight.”
Bailey led three Lady Trojans in double figures with 13 points while Crawford and Sherrow each added 10. Emerson nearly made it a quartet of Dyersburg girls with 10+ points, as her three treys gave her nine points.
While getting the “W” that has recently eluded the Lady Trojans could be viewed as a confidence builder, Ayers pointed out that factor is only part of it.
“Yeah, it’s confidence, but it’s kind of like that pep talk right before the game,” Ayers said. “Two minutes in, you’re in the middle of game and you’ve got to go do it again. The confidence you have has got to be believing in yourself.
“If that helps us believe in ourself then I am all for it. But, it’s got to run a little deeper than that.”
Ayers added in recent games where the Lady Trojans have lost lately, he felt the team was on the verge of figuring some stuff out and that Tuesday night was a step in the right direction.
The Trojans and Lady Trojans return to action on Friday night when Dyersburg hosts Westview in another District 13AA matchup. Tipoff for girls action is set for 6:30 p.m.