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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dixie Drops Two

It was not a good week for the Hounds as they dropped 2 winnable games.  They first played undefeated Northridge who has been playing quality basketball as of late. Dixie actually lead at halftime but Northridge's 2nd half press wore them down.  Northridge gradually grew a lead and went on to win 66-58.  Preble Shawnee entered the week undefeated, but like Dixie they had lost on Tuesday.  So both teams came into Fridays game hoping to regain momentum.  The contest was an even matchup.  At one point in the 4th quarter, the game was knotted up 42-all and both teams had 7 fouls.  And when two equal teams meet, often times it is the team that makes the fewest mistakes that wins.  Dixie committed critical turnovers about midway through the last quarter that Shawnee turned into points.  With the lead, the Arrows went into slowdown mode and solidified a 57-48 victory.  Cody Grubbs lead all scorers with 28 points.

Northridge features Drew Ogletree – a dominating post player who helped Northridge go undefeated in the SWBL and make a playoff run to the sweet 16 last season. He did not disappoint as he put up 26 points on the Hounds. Dixie lead 32-26 at the half, but the withering press of Northridge seemed to take a toll on the team and frustrated Dixie. Blake Miller lead scoring for Dixie with 23 and Cody Gubb had 12 points.

Shawnee also has a strong post player in Thomas Buell - who almost didn't play in the game. He rolled an ankle in the Carlisle game earlier in the week and was on crutches afterwards. He was given clearance to play just that day and lead Shawnee in scoring with 16 points. So it was the second game in a row where Dixie had to figure out a way to defend dominating post player.

The Shawnee – Dixie game was a dog fight most of the way. The teams were evenly matched and there were several ties and lead changed through most of the game. It was 10-10 at the end of the first quarter. Shawnee was able to get a slight edge at halftime time – 21-18. But in a precursor of things to come, Shawnee's lead came at the end of the half when Dixie got sloppy with their ball handling and gave Shawnee a couple of turnovers. Shawnee converted these early Christmas gifts into points.

The 3rd quarter ended in a 42 – all tie and it remained knotted for the first 3 minutes of the 4th quarter. Shawnee did a little half court trap and netted a turnover. Then they got another turnover and were up by 2 scores. Dixie countered with a press to get some turnovers of their own, but it backfired when Shawnee broke the press to perfection and scored an easy basket. It was downhill from there as Dixie tried to rally, but Shawnee held them off and expanded their lead for the victory.

“Defensively we were able to get back into it. But I thought we didn't have the zeal and energy that we needed,” stated Coach Williams after the Shawnee game, “It didn't seem like the same team that we have had the last couple of games. We were kind of flat. Shawnee did make some timely shots when they needed to. Cody Grubb played well, I would have liked for him to attack a little more against Buell. Defensively we need more out of him.”

“Against Northridge we played with more energy,” he continued, “but we don't have much of a bench and seemed to get tired in the last quarter. I like the way we played against Northridge, but we just didn't play to our potential tonight.”

Dixie played two teams that are at the top of the SWBL Buckeye division. Both times Dixie played with their opponent for most of the game, only to lose towards the end. The season is still young, so Dixie can make up ground and make a move up in the division, but the league losses do drop Dixie into the bottom half of the division. Dixie won't play any division opponents until after the start of the new year. Then they resume league play and will have a chance for redemption. Dixie next plays at Oakwood – always a tough venue for visiting teams.

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