KINGSPORT — The recipe for success in postseason basketball must always include solid defense and controlling the boards.
Dobyns-Bennett was outstanding in both those areas on Saturday.
The Indians cooked up an impressive 70-31 win over Cocke County in the Region 1-AAA boys quarterfinals at the Buck Van Huss Dome.
D-B (21-8) advanced to take on Sevier County (27-4) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the regional semifinals at Daniel Boone.
The Smoky Bears upended Sullivan South 67-61 to earn their showdown with the Indians.
Five first-quarter turnovers and a string of missed shots had the Fighting Cocks trailing 13-8 heading into the second quarter.
D-B’s Thomas Palmer hit two 3-pointers to open the second stanza before adding a bucket off a steal. The Indians’ A.J. Anderson stroked another trey and, with 4:35 left in the half, D-B held a commanding 24-10 advantage.
It was downhill from there for Cocke County.
“We have to play an inside out game,” said Cocke County coach Ray Evans. “We went into the paint early, didn’t have much success and just stopped trying. We made some bad things worse and couldn’t recover.
“From all the film I’ve watched, this is the best I’ve seen D-B play.”
Leading 33-20 at the half, the Tribe outscored the Fighting Cocks 22-5 in the third quarter and the rout was on.
“Tonight we played as a team,” said Palmer, who finished with a game-high 18 points. “We passed the ball well and shared it.
“Coach told us before the game to do our job and we’d move on.”
The second half was a complete blowout. D-B’s defense limited Cocke County to just 11 points.
“We looked good tonight because we took care of the basketball,” said Tribe coach Charlie Morgan. “The guys guarded pretty good and didn’t give Cocke County many good looks.
“(Connor) Mitchell and Anderson rebounded well and (John) Fulkerson played good defense on the perimeter.”
In the pressure-cooker atmosphere of regional play, Morgan knows it’s now up to his team to perform.
“I told the guys, coaches can’t shoot or rebound the ball. The players have to get the job done and make the plays,” he said. “This is a big opportunity for them.”
Makale Foreman added 11 points and Anderson finished with 10 for the Indians.
D-B won the rebounding battle 30-19, with Mitchell pulling down 10 boards and Anderson seven.
Dylan Dockery led Cocke County (17-13) with 14 points and seven rebounds.