Union City spoils DC’s return home
The Dyer County girls had their return home after over two weeks on the road spoiled as the Lady Tornadoes dominated the close of the opening quarter on the way to handing the Lady Choctaws a 78-57 loss on Tuesday night in Newbern.
“I think, for whatever reason, we kind of felt like tonight – just because we beat them on their home floor earlier in the season – I think we felt like we could just show up and beat them by 18 again,” Dyer County head coach Derek McCord said. “And, that’s not the way this game works.”
Dyer County took the lead early, countering a pair of Dymond Smith free throws with a bucket from Torri Daniels and a pair of Amaria Pugh freebies from the foul line to take a 5-2 lead with 5:44 left in the opening frame. But, the remainder of the first quarter belonged to the Lady Tornadoes as two free throws from Alivia Bishop and four more from Smith sparked a Union City scoring spree lasting the rest of the frame to build the Union City lead to 18-9 at the end of the first frame.
The Lady Torando lead swelled to a dozen points early in the second quarter after a three-point play from TyKesha Vaughn, but Dyer County battled back. A Jam’ya Glenn free throw began a run and was followed by a three-point play from Alexis Akins as well as a pair of free throws by by Glenn. A three-pointer from Katelyn Anderson later in the quarter capped the Dyer County scoring spree and cut the Union City lead to 24-22 with 2:22 left in the half. But, as they did in the opening frame, the Lady Tornadoes dominated the end of the half, getting two free throws from Kendall Davis to open a 12-0 run to end the second quarter and take a 36-22 lead at the half after a late Smith jumper.
The Lady Choctaws were unable to make up any ground in the third frame as four free throws from Vaughn late in the quarter as well as a Smith layup helped Union City extend its lead slightly at 56-39 after three quarters.
Thanks to a pair of early three-pointers from Anderson during the final frame, the Lady Choctaws cut the lead back to 58-47 with 6:26 left in the contest, but Union City, again, went on to score their points in bunches with five unanswered following the second trifecta. A 6-2 run later in the frame pushed the lead back to 17 points before a late 9-0 Lady Tornado run sealed the win for Union City.
“We turned the ball over way too many times,” McCord said. “A lot of unforced turnovers. Didn’t shoot the ball well.
“They shot the ball real well. They made a lot of free throws. We just couldn’t get in a stance and keep our feet moving and allowed them to shoot 41 free throws to our 17. We’ve got to do a lot better job of staying in a stance, guarding and not fouling. We’ve just got to keep working.”
The Lady Choctaws will have a quick turnaround leading into their District 13AA finale on Friday night when they travel to Munford to face the Lady Cougars at 6 p.m.
“We’ll have to really regroup in a hurry because we just didn’t play too well tonight,” McCord said. “I don’t know how you can’t get up for a home game.
“You’ve got a good crowd, a great atmosphere and we were just not mentally prepared.”
Anderson led the way for the Lady Choctaws with 16 points while Pugh added 11 and Akins tossed in nine.
“We had a great gameplan to execute,” McCord said. “And, it’s just some of the things we do with the basketball as far as turnovers – it’s hard to figure out at times.
“Just way too many turnovers. Just turned it over too much and fouled too much.”
Union City boys 67, Dyer County 49
The Tornadoes jumped out to a big lead early and cruised to the 18-point win over the Choctaws.
“They’re a very good basketball team and they shot the ball well tonight,” McCord said. “I mean really shot the ball well.
“Parker Stewart is a great basketball player and that’s why he’s heading for Ole Miss. He shot the ball well. We tried to guard him the best we could, but he’s a really good basketball player.”
A pair of Rico Quinton buckets early in the game kept the Choctaws close – countering a three-pointer from Stewart and a jumper by Queatrial Polk. But, a Jermize Weddle three-pointer opened a 15-2 run by the Tornadoes to help Union City build a comfortable 23-9 lead at the half.
Union City controlled much of the slower-scoring second quarter as a three-pointer from Polk opened a 12-0 run to start the frame. Dyer County was held scoreless until the 1:18 mark of the frame and a Tray Swift bucket. The Choctaws got a late Quinton layup to cut the Union City lead to 35-13 at the half.
“You can just tell they’re a bunch that has been in the gym a lot,” McCord said. “They’re able to shoot the ball a lot and are really good skilled players.”
The Choctaws more than doubled its offensive output in the third quarter, but only two Dyer County players got into the scoring column as Quinton scored 11 and Jefhry Taylor added eight as Union City carried a 52-32 lead into the final eight minutes.
A 12-2 run in the fourth quarter sealed the win for the Tornadoes as McCord went to his bench. The Choctaw reserves responded by finishing the game on an 11-2 run in a bright spot for Dyer County.
“But, our guys got in there, worked hard and battled,” McCord said. “They competed and we’re missing some players we had earlier in the year but we’re going to keep battling and working hard.
“That’s what we’re going to do – we’re going to keep working hard.”
McCord said one thing the Choctaws will focus on down the stretch during practice is boxing out.
“It’s frustrating at times when you see guys come in and get offensive rebounds and score the ball,” McCord said. “So, we’ve got to do a better job of having carry-over from practice to games – especially on box-outs.
“At some positions, we had the size advantage and they still kind of bullied us and got offensive rebounds.”
Quinton led the way for the Choctaws with 20 points in the loss while Taylor added 14.
“But, on a bright note, it was good to see our freshmen get in there towards the end,” McCord said. “They’ve had a heck of a junior season and I think our future is bright. Those guys play so hard and it was great to get those guys in.”
Dyer County returns to action on Friday night when the Lady Choctaws and Choctaws travel to Munford to close out their District 13AAA regular season schedule. Tipoff for girls action is at 6 p.m.