KINGSPORT — Is revenge as sweet as some people say?
Well, perhaps not literally. For the Dobyns-Bennett boys Tuesday night, revenge probably tasted like a celebratory slice of pizza.
The Indians placed four players in double figures in avenging their only Big 8 Conference loss, beating David Crockett 57-41 at the Buck Van Huss Dome.
“We didn’t guard at Crockett but we guarded tonight. That’s the difference,” said D-B coach Charlie Morgan, whose squad lost by 17 points at Jonesborough in early December.
“The defensive intensity of our team has really picked up.”
The Indians (12-6, 7-1) got 10 points plus a whirlwind five steals and eight assists from guard Darius Davis. Tyler Ailshie scored 11 points and grabbed five boards, while Juwan Johnson added 11 points with five rebounds. Derrick Steele had 10 points while distributing three assists.
The Pioneers (5-10, 1-6) got 11 points from Ty Shipley.
Seven-foot post Zack Garland — who loomed large in the first meeting with a scoring and rebounding double-double plus five blocks — finished with six points, seven rebounds and two rejections Tuesday.
Garland took a seat on his second foul with 1:10 left in the first quarter and D-B leading 10-9. The Pioneers were down by 11 when he returned with 4:21 remaining in the half. He exited again with his third foul with 1:09 before intermission and did not return again until 4:08 in the third with the Indians up 35-20.
Straight off, the big man gave the Pioneers a couple of slam dunks. But it wasn’t enough to ignite Crockett’s dampened fuse — or otherwise slow D-B’s flow.
Morgan cited Garland’s early foul trouble as one of the difference makers in the rematch. But Crockett coach Richard Tarlton didn’t think that was adequate to account for the letdown.
“That hurt us with the big guy being on the bench with foul trouble. I know that. But we’ve got to play when he’s in and when he’s out,” Tarlton said.
“They kind of took us out of our game tonight. We weren’t comfortable with anything we did. The first time we played, they didn’t beat us up and down the floor. Tonight they did pretty bad at times.”
Morgan noted that Saturday’s non-conference loss to Cherokee may have weighed more heavily on his players’ minds than the December defeat at the hands of the Pioneers.
“They wanted to come out tonight and play hard and show that they can get the job done,” Morgan said.
In the girls’ game, Hillary Gray scored 16 points and the Lady Indians rolled to a 79-52 win.
Haley Clark hit four treys en route to 14 points. Cayley McCaslin added 12 points for D-B (12-5, 5-2), which roared off to a 22-5 first-quarter lead. Juli Osborne chipped in 11 while Megan Devine contributed 10.
Abby Gladden scored 23 to pace the Lady Pioneers (1-14, 0-8) while Brittany Ward added 10 and Leah Rose put up nine.
“I thought Haley picked us up and shot the ball really well. She made some big shots. We’ve been mixing our lineup a little bit and everybody has been contributing more and playing harder,” said Lady Indians coach Roger France.
“I thought we played real well the first half. The second half, kind of up and down. But give (the Lady Pioneers) a lot of credit. They’re having a really tough year and they’re still playing hard.”