Dobyns-Bennett sweeps Cherokee

Dave Ongie • Dec 22, 2008 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Size and speed will win you a lot of basketball games, and Dobyns-Bennett used a healthy dose of both to sweep Cherokee Monday night in the Buck Van Huss Dome.

Dustin McConnell and Jordan Edwards sparked the boys to a 70-43 victory over the Chiefs while Blaine Frohlich, Megan Devine and Juli Osborne led the Lady Indians to a lopsided 70-38 decision.

In the boys’ game, the Tribe bounced back after a slow first quarter, outscoring Cherokee 41-13 in the middle two periods to put the contest out of reach.

Defensive intensity was the key as D-B held the Chiefs scoreless for the first 5:05 of the second period, turning a 13-12 deficit into a 23-13 lead during that span.

With Edwards taking care of business against the overmatched Chiefs in the paint, McConnell got hot from beyond the arc and helped the Tribe build an insurmountable 53-26 lead at the end of three quarters.

McConnell knocked down four 3-pointers and led the Tribe with 20 points while Edwards added 16. Ashlon Adams chipped in with 12 for D-B (9-1).

“I’m not totally pleased, but I’ll take it,” D-B coach Charlie Morgan said. “Overall we did some pretty good things — we picked up some intensity in the second half.”

Cherokee used a 2-3 zone and hit 6 of 11 field goal attempts in the first quarter to build the one-point lead the Chiefs enjoyed at the end of the first quarter.

But Cherokee shot just 33 percent the rest of the way, missing 10 shots in a row at one point in the third period.

“We tried some zone on them early and we won the first quarter,” Cherokee coach Jeremy Parrott said. “But we couldn’t do anything with Jordan Edwards — eventually, their athleticism won out.”

Wes Horton scored 16 points to pace Cherokee (4-6).

There seems to be more good news on the way for the Tribe as Justin Sylvester is expected to return from a knee injury in time for the opening round of the Arby’s Classic on Friday.

Sylvester has missed virtually the entire season thus far and wasn’t in uniform against the Chiefs. But Morgan said his star guard had a good workout on Monday morning and appears ready to return to action.

In the girls’ contest, there was nothing slow about the Lady Indians’ start.

D-B came flying out of the gate, leading 23-8 at the end of the first period. The Tribe was never challenged the rest of the way in their final contest before Christmas.

Frohlich was a major key to the fast start, scoring 10 of her game-high 18 points in the first period.

D-B’s size was something the Lady Chiefs could not overcome. Frohlich, Osborne and Devine — the Tribe’s trio of 6-footers — combined to outscore Cherokee’s entire roster 43-38.

“I thought we came out and played with a lot of intensity,” D-B coach Roger France said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we got out and ran and did some good things.”

Osborne scored 13 points for the Tribe (7-3) and Devine added 12. Casey Ryans led Cherokee (3-8) with 15 points while Lindsee Price had 11.

The Lady Indians will take a couple days off for Christmas before facing some stiff competition in the GreenBank Ladies Classic, which begins on Saturday at Greeneville High School.

“From here until the first of January is when we try to improve,” he said. “We’re going to get the opportunity to play some good teams.”

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