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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dixie Rebounds against Franklin Monroe

Dixie rebounded in their home opener against Franklin Monroe. After dropping their first game on the road against Carlisle, Dixie faced off at home Saturday night against a team that made a deep playoff run last season and is generally in the top half of the Cross County Conference. The game featured both team teams playing tough half court defense that kept the score low – it was 14 to 8 in favor of Dixie at half. More of a football score than a basketball score.

Franklin Monroe played a 2-3 zone the entire night, while Dixie stayed in man to man. Occasionally Dixie would go into full court pressure and that worked a few times where they surprised the Jets and got a quick basket from a turnover. Most of Dixie’s points in the first half came in the paint, either from working the ball inside to the post or from a layup or pull up jump shot from a steal. The Jets were trying to score from the dribble drive but had a rough time getting second shots as any misses were being rebounded by the Greyhound post players who did a good job most of the night controlling the boards.

As the game progressed, Dixie kept the lead from the first quarter on but could not get any breathing space between themselves and the Jets. They stayed on their heels until late in the 3rd quarter when Mike Smiley struck from behind the arc just before the buzzer to give Dixie a 26-18 lead. When action resumed, Andrew Barnett put another dagger into the Jets when he popped another three and extended the lead even more. Ryan Gabbard next hit a 12 footer and then the route was on. Franklin Monroe tried their share of 3 point shots in the stretch, but couldn’t connect. While the Jets flailed, the Greyhounds raced ahead – at one point leading 41-22. As the game wound down, Dixie put in a guard heavy lineup and worked the clock to get their first victory of the season 41-28.

Coach Creamer was happy with the win, “We didn’t exactly have an inspired effort against Carlisle last night. But for our first opportunity of playing back to back games, I was pretty impressed with our effort and focus tonight. I really think that we and Franklin Monroe are very similar basketball teams in that there are going to be nights were we struggle offensively to put points on the board. We were very deliberate on the offensive end and we didn’t get impatient. We stayed the course and put the basketball in the right spot. We struggled at times tonight, but when we needed points, we had some players step and score for us. We established our presence in the paint and when we started to get double teams they were able to kick the ball back out to our perimeter and they stepped up knocked some shots down.”

The Carlisle game, “Carlisle did a great job of getting on us defensively in the half court and we did not handle that pressure very well. Opening nights tend to be a little sloppy on both sides. We turned the ball over early, we missed shots we shouldn’t have missed, and so in the second half we took chances on defense and missed. Carlisle took advantage of those opportunities and scored. All the credit goes to them last night. We look forward to the opportunity to play them again.”

Scoring for Dixie against Franklin Monroe: Smiley 3, Moore 5, Barnett 3, J. Isaacs 8, Sauer 6, M. Isaacs 6, Gabbard 10.