Racing out to a 13-0 lead in the first three minutes Saturday and scoring the game’s first 20 points over the first five minutes, the Indians cruised to a 77-47 victory over the Trailblazers in the first of the tournament semifinals at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium.
The Indians (27-3) will meet Science Hill, a 69-65 semifinal winner over Tennessee High, in Tuesday’s championship game. Last season, Dobyns-Bennett won the District 1-AAA title and Science Hill won the region championship.
“Our guys had a focus and intensity about them,” D-B coach Chris Poore said. “This week has been a strong week for us. I don’t know I can remember a time where we practiced for a week straight and was so focused for the whole week.”
View the photo gallery from the game
Marae Foreman paced the Indians with 20 points. Riamello Wadsworth finished with 19 and Charlie Browder posted a double- double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“I thought our mindset coming into the night was really good,” Poore said. “Marae would pass the ball to Charlie, and Mello was attacking and finding guys. And we did a good job putting the ball in the hole.
“When you’re shooting the ball well and you have unselfish guys attacking the way they were, it’s tough to stop.”
Jared Adkins led the ’Blazers (12-13) with a 15-point effort. Cade Norris and Zach Saul were next with six each. The Indians held Boone’s trio of Chad Heglar, Marshall Golden and Ayden Begley to three points each.
“Mello did a phenomenal job on Heglar. He’s struggled against us,” Poore said. “Our guys stepped up in a big way. Golden had a huge game against Cherokee and we didn’t want to let him get going. I thought Brit (Thomas) did a good job against him.
“When we play with that intensity and effort, it’s a good night for us.”
HILLTOPPERS ON TOP
The Hilltoppers (16-15) emerged victorious in a hard-fought game that featured 10 second-half lead changes.
Jordan McLoyd led the way with 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Kendle Cutlip had 17 points and four steals, and Jake Matherne came through with 16 points, seven rebounds three assists and two blocks.
“It was like our regular-season games were, back-and-forth, back-and-forth,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said.
“This time, we were able to make plays, get some shots in the fourth quarter unlike last time when they got the win.”
Brandon Brown had 13 points to lead the Vikings (23-8), who jumped out to an 11-point lead early and led 38-33 at halftime. Cade Mitchell ended with 12 points, while Christian Webb and Nolan Wishon scored 11 points each.