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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Eagles D Leaves Hounds Cold
J. C. Tilton
It’s been a tough start to the season for the young Dixie Greyhounds. The team is winless but they have had their chances losing three of their games by three or less points. So they are playing competitive ball, but are falling short down the stretch. But that is part of a young team maturing, learning how to finish. Eaton on the other hand has some experience and an overall team height advantage. It wasn’t that long ago that the Eagles were cellar dwellers, but the team has caught a wave under coach Don Moormeir and is now a team to be reckoned with.
Dixie played even with the Eagles for one and half quarters. But ominously, I counted 4 turnovers in the first 4 minutes for the Greyhounds. This would plague them thru out the game. Eaton would score at least 10 points off of turnovers. Both teams played a man to man defense. One factor that was a plus in the Dixie ledger was their defensive rebounding. They were able to hold the Eagles to just one shot on most possessions.
At the end of the first quarter, Dixie had a slim 8-7 lead. But this lead was quickly squandered in the next quarter. After giving up a trey, Dixie further aided the Eaton cause by giving up two turnovers on their next two possessions. These were both converted into baskets. Freshman Ryan Gabbard coolly hit 4 free throws and fellow frosh Garret Moore nailed a trey to pull the Hounds back in front 15-14 midway thru the quarter. But this would be Dixie’s last lead of the night as Eaton went on a 12 point run to break the game open before the halfway point.
In the second half, Dixie played even thru the third quarter closing the gap to eight thanks in part to senior Nick Worley scoring on back to back possessions in the last minute. Matt Risner scored all eight of his points in the second half to help rally the Hounds. The team began pressing at the end of quarter and it had some success in hurrying up the Eagles into bad passes. The Dixie big men Gabbard and Risner helped the team chip away at the Eagle lead scoring almost all the 4th quarter points. The team pulled to within 5 in the last 20 seconds, but couldn’t close any further and ended with a 52-45 loss.
Coach Joe Miller chalked up the loss to two factors - missed shots and turnovers. “We missed several open shots and even some easy layups. Now they did pretty good from the free throw line. Our rebounding isn’t bad, now we go after it. And our defense isn’t bad, we just aren’t scoring. But it is a young team - playing freshmen and a sophomore. We are going to make mistakes.”
Dixie scoring: Darney 5, Moore 11, Worley 8, Gabbard 11, Risner 8 Prater 2.
Eaton scoring: Baker 12, McKinney 8, Jordan 4, French 18, Moormeir 10.
Eaton JV won 47-45.

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