D-B (15-7, 10-2) defeated Volunteer 57-44 in a contest that was much closer than the final score might have indicated.
After holding the lead early in the game, the Falcons (6-14, 3-8) fell behind and didn’t catch up until Cody Moore’s free throw gave them a short- lived 40-39 edge with 3:24 left to play.
Juwan Johnson answered with a layup, which Cameron Trent countered by sinking an inside shot.
At that juncture, 6-foot-4 Adam Denison slipped into the left corner and sank a 3-point goal to put D-B ahead for keeps 44-42. Forced to foul, the Falcons gradually faded.
“Adam’s 3-pointer was a big shot,’’ Morgan said. “He can step out there and hit it.
“Volunteer made us earn it. This game requires mental toughness and our guys rose to the occasion.’’
Both sides agreed that when Denison connected from long range, the issue was pretty much settled.
“We knew from our first game with (the Indians) that Denison liked to shoot from the left corner,’’ Volunteer coach Todd Whittemore said. “After we got the lead, we were playing in tight with a zone and he was left open outside. When Denison made that shot, they took the momentum from us.’’
In the final 90 seconds, Tyler Ailshie, Ben Riggs, Johnson and Denison combined to score 13 points — nine of these on free throws.
The 6-foot-8 Trent returned to the lineup after a lengthy rehabilitation from an elbow injury. The senior played only sparingly, but it was his layup with 2:48 that gave the Falcons their final lead, 42-41.
“When the game got close down the stretch, D-B played smarter than we did,’’ Whittemore said. “We hit only 10 of 20 free throws. Who are you going to beat shooting like that?’’
Volunteer’s 6-foot point guard, Christian Green, threatened to beat the Indians by himself. He repeatedly hit clutch shots, executed steals and dished out assists.
Green, penetrating throughout, dropped in a game-high 22 points.
“He was so low to the floor, we couldn’t get anybody to stop him,’’ Morgan said. “Green fouled out one of our point guards.
“Gosh, he’s fast. When he gets you back on your heels, he’s difficult to handle.’’
It was a quiet night for Volunteer’s Caleb Christian, who managed just two points. In a recent loss to Science Hill, he had blazed in 26 by hitting 10 of 10 field goal attempts and all three free throws he tried.
Denison led the Tribe with 19 points, and Ailshie added 14.
Roger France’s Lady Indians (16-5, 9-2) won in a breeze, 77-47.
Hillary Gray, Megan Devine and Haley Clark scored 54 points collectively.
Devine got eight of D-B’s 14 in the opening quarter. Gray hit five field goals in the second.
Gray finished with 23, Devine with 18 and Clark with 13.
D-B scored at least 20 points in each of the last three quarters.
“We had a lot of people score,’’ France said. “We’ve had several players lead us in scoring all season, but I don’t think that’s what it’s all about.
“We’re playing well on the defensive end. We’re getting the ball out and running with it. Our defense has picked up.’’
Miranda Adkins took scoring honors for the Lady Falcons (8-11, 3-8) with 17 points. Ashley Lindholm got 10.
D-B will observe homecoming Friday against Sullivan South. Volunteer will travel to Tennessee High that night and go to Cherokee on Saturday for a makeup game.