Junior big man Charlie Browder made some string music for the Tribe (19-3, 7-1), finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Marae Foreman also hit double figures in scoring with 16 points in the 84-52 win.
The Indians jetted to a 22-10 first-quarter lead after hitting four of their eight 3-pointers on the night. The Pioneers faced an uphill battle, having to deal with Browder down low while also trying to tamp down D-B’s hot start from beyond the arc.
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“I thought Charlie had a good game and a lot of that came from guys being aggressive and trying to find him,” Tribe coach Chris Poore said. “We did a good job of sharing the ball and when we did find Charlie and he drew a double team, he’d kick it back out. ...
“Probably my two favorite possessions were when Mello (Wadsworth) passed to Charlie for a bucket and then Charlie passed to Mello for a bucket the next time down.”
The Tribe also had a solid defensive night, holding Donta Hackler to four points — well below his average of 15 for Crockett. Junior Mack Hensley finished with 14 points to lead the Pioneers (7-16, 3-6).
The win and Cherokee’s shocking 67-47 victory over Tennessee High moved the Indians back into sole possession of first place in the Big 7.
The Tribe faces a tough road nonconference opponent on Saturday night at Greeneville. Poore knows the Greene Devils are a physical team much like his own but feels his troops are prepared.
“They’re physical and they’re going to execute very well,” Poore said. “They’re good at defending in the halfcourt and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go in there and compete. They’re a team that usually gets in the postseason and makes a run, so we can’t take them lightly.”
LADY INDIANS RIGHT SHIP
The Lady Indians bounced back big from their Big 7 loss to Science Hill last Friday night, romping past the Lady Pioneers 67-23.
D-B (19-5, 7-1) got 19 points from Courtney Whitson, pushing her career total to 2,192. Whitson is just 41 points off Sasha Morrisette’s all-time record of 2,233.
Twelve others scored for the Tribe, which made 11 3-pointers on the evening but went 4-for-11 from the free-throw line.
Crockett (8-13, 3-5) did not have anyone score in double figures and had as many turnovers as it did points at halftime (13).
The Lady Indians sped out to an 8-0 lead and the Lady Pioneers did not score until 3:31 left in the first quarter. Coach Bill Francis did not have to get up from his seat on the bench much in the second half as his Lady Indians had a commanding 57-17 at the end of the third quarter.
At halftime, senior guard Chase Jenkins and senior soccer player McKenzie Guest were announced as the homecoming king and queen.