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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The D in Dixie must stand for Defense. Last Saturday night Dixie throttled the North Panthers holding them to just 6 points in the first half. And like a pit bull latching onto its adversary, Dixie kept the defensive pressure up throughout the game. It was a pressure cooker that North could not escape from. Dixie was able to rack up an astounding 62-20 victory by the nights end. Holding a varsity team to 20 points is an impressive defensive performance in this age of the three point shot.

Dixie utilized vigorous full court pressure in the first quarter. North used one, then two timeouts to try to work out a way around the Dixie defense. Then Dixie fell back into an effective trapping defense and were still creating turnovers and making crisp passes on the offensive side to get easy points. In the second quarter, Dixie called off the full court attack and settled into a man to man half court defense that North would spend the whole night trying to figure out.
For their part North played a zone defense in the first half and played man to man in the second half. This seemed to be more effective for the second half. Although Dixie played a lot of bench players in then and slowed down the pace of the game. North generally played a single post offense and tried to cut players through the Dixie defense but just didn’t get many open looks at the basket.

Dixie definitely owned the boards for most of the night. And Dixie didn’t miss a beat with their stingy defense when they emptied their bench in the second half. Even with the starters resting and subs on the floor, Dixie was able to hold North to a scrooge-like 14 second half points. At the end of the third quarter, Dixie had a lopsided 50-11 lead. North was able to score some in the last quarter, almost doubling their total and were able to almost keep pace with Dixie who scored 12 in the last stanza.

Coach Creamer was asked for comment after the victory, “The one thing we talked about is that good basketball teams put away teams early that they are supposed to put away early. We came out focused, got the early momentum, and kept it.” …on the defense, “We told our kids early that we can be pretty successful basketball team over the long haul if we commit ourselves to playing hard on the defensive end. We are making good strides on defense, but it is not a finished product. “

…On the strong showing by the bench players in the second half, ” We have done a great job in practice of putting our best against our best – that’s players 1 through 10. Now you can only start 5 but we have 5 others guys who are ready, willing and capable. Tonight we showed that they are ready, and they need to be ready because you are always one play away from losing a starter.” …Next up – Waynesville, “They are the top team in our league and return as many players as we do. They probably have the best player in the league in Luke Credit. We have to go on the road, we will be decisive underdogs, and we are looking forward for this opportunity.”

Coach Jackson was asked about the game, “Dixie was unbelievable, that was some of the best defensive play I have seen this season. Coach Creamer is doing a great job and he has some good athletes. Our guys, we didn’t knock down shots, but we did not quit – which I was happy about. We need to get back quicker in transition. Hats off to Dixie they were a better team than us. Next week we play against Ansonia, they will play a lot of man to man against us, but I think we match up real well. It should be a real good game. “

Scoring for Dixie: Barnett 6, Gabbard 12, Grubb 11, J. Isaacs 6, M. Isaacs 10, Moore 4, Smiley 6, Watts 7. Scoring for North: Derringer 2, Diehl 4, Heltsley 3, Hutchins 4, Louthan 3, McAdams 2, Rees 1, Williams 1.

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