With a plus-16 edge rebounding the basketball, the Indians rolled to a 69-37 Big Seven Conference win over the homestanding Falcons.
Abiah Releford led the Indians (6-4, 2-0) on the offensive end with 14 points and Malachi Hale came through with 13 more. Jahson Dennis finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
“The past few home games, we haven’t been offensively sound and executing,” Dennis said. “Lately in practices, we’ve been going at it hard. We came in with the mentality that we had to attack the rim and put pressure on the defense.”
The Indians’ depth and aggressiveness rebounding the ball came into play in the second quarter. Holding a 15-10 lead at the end of one, D-B went on a tear in the second and expanded the lead to 43-23 at the half.
Once in control, the Indians kept pulling away, up by 30 entering the final quarter. They outrebounded the Falcons 32-16, including a 16-3 advantage on the offensive glass. The Tribe also got nine points from Jack Browder and eight points and seven assists from Zane Whitson.
“We got a lot of guys in. When you put those guys in, it rewards them,” D-B coach Chris Poore said. “I was pleased that our guys used the rebounding to our advantage. It played out in our favor, and I thought our guys did a good job being active and getting the tipped balls, the rebounds we could put back.”
Volunteer coach Mike Poe’s Falcons fell to 6-9, 0-3. Bradin Minton led the Falcons with six points, while Andrew Knittel, Garrison Barrett and Dakota Hicks each scored five. Poe wanted to see his team be more aggressive, but he liked their attitude once the game was over.
“The thing I was most disappointed in is I didn’t think we wanted the ball badly enough in our hands,” Poe said. “It was like a hot potato, and we didn’t want to face up to the pressure they put on us. We didn’t rebound with any authority. If I had gotten a foul, it would have been boxing someone out and being more physical.
“The thing I’m proud of is that for the first time I think since I’ve been here, we were hurting in the locker room. There have been times before if you got beat like that, it was like ‘so what, let’s get dressed and go on.’ Tonight, they were actually hurt. That means we’re turning in the right direction when you have kids who care about being a basketball player and care about the direction the program is going in.”
Dobyns-Bennett 58, Volunteer 49
Megan Ayers hit six shots behind the 3-point arc to give the Lady Indians (11-2, 2-0) a much needed 22 points against the Lady Falcons (5-8, 0-2).
Volunteer gave D-B all it could handle in the first half, leading 13-12 after one quarter and trailing by one after Tinsley Whalen’s basket with 1:42 left in the second. The Lady Indians had a late surge to take a 28-24 lead into halftime.
The game remained close with the lead back down to one possession before D-B pulled away for a 45-38 lead after three quarters. The Lady Indians never could put too much distance on the home team as Kenady Knittel hit four shots from 3-point range in an 18-point effort and Aliyah Crawley also finished with 18 points.
“Thank goodness for Megan Ayers. I thought they had a good game plan, and we weren’t getting good movement tonight,” D-B coach Bill Francis said. “I told them you’ve got to respect Volunteer because you’re going to be in for a dogfight. That 23 (Crawley) can flat play and she’s going to try to get in your head.
“The little parts of the game, they do well and they executed the game plan. However, we had some kids make some plays when we had to have them.”
They included Jabrea Johnson who ended with 10 points, followed by Caitlyn Wallace with eight and Elle Francis with six. Audrey Evans scored six for the Lady Falcons.