GRAY - Daniel Boone gave Dobyns-Bennett all it wanted for three quarters, but a strong fourth-quarter defensive effort gave the Indians a Big 9 Conference title.
The Tribe broke open a tied game by outscoring the Trailblazers 14-3 in the final quarter to earn a 54-43 win and a share of the conference championship on senior night at Daniel Boone on Thursday.
Although the Indians are tied with Science Hill atop the Big Nine Conference standings, Dobyns-Bennett will be the No. 1 seed in next week's District 1-AAA tournament thanks to a season sweep of the Hilltoppers.
"The first three quarters we didn't play any defense, but the last quarter we did," D-B coach Charlie Morgan said. "Our guys really got down and the intensity picked up."
The lack of defensive effort put the Indians (20-7, 13-3) in a precarious position for most of the game.
The Tribe trailed by a point at halftime and by as many as seven points in the third quarter as Daniel Boone knocked down open shots and hit the offensive glass hard.
D-B managed to tie things up at 40 by the end of the quarter before bearing down in the final eight minutes.
"We knew we had a lot at stake and we weren't going to let it slip away," Tribe senior forward Brad Blackwell said.
Blackwell's energy helped to spearhead the comeback. He finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, giving him his second double-double this week.
Coty Sensabaugh and Jordan Edwards scored 12 points apiece for the Tribe while Josef Throp added nine.
"It was ugly, but we're glad to have it," Blackwell said of the win. "We're feeling good, but we have to stay focused and keep the same mind-set."
Blake Moncier and Nick Jones led Boone (9-19, 5-11) with 13 points apiece.
In girls action, the Lady Indians battled foul trouble, turnovers and a determined Daniel Boone squad to earn a 50-44 win.
D-B coach Roger France said he was glad to see his team pick up a hard-fought road win after letting one slip away in the closing moments at Science Hill on Tuesday.
"I don't think there's any question that it helps," he said. You want to end on a winning note."
But the final note of the regular season could have been a sour one if not for the heroics of Holly Huff, who scored all 12 of her points in the first half.
With Blaine Frohlich and Sabra Lawson on the bench in foul trouble for most of the first half, Huff got the Lady Indians off to a solid start.
"Holly played well in the first half," France said. "It gave us a big boost for her to hit some big shots."
Lawson and Frohlich took over in the second half, dominating the paint and helping the Lady Indians hold off Boone.
Although the Lady Trailblazers never led, they were within a single point for most of the fourth quarter before D-B (19-9, 11-5) pulled away in the final minute.
Lawson and Frohlich combined for 25 points and 22 rebounds with Lawson accounting for 13 points and 11 boards while Frohlich added 12 points and 11 boards of her own.
Caroline Deakins led Boone (14-15, 7-9) with 15 points while Holly Nickels added 12.