Dallas County’s Keyonis Phillips, center, dribbles past Wilcox Central’s Lamonte Lyles (0) during Friday’s game at Wallace Community College-Selma. -- Robert Hudson

DCHS tops Wilcox, Keith beats Southside in day one of county tourney

Published 1:03am Saturday, December 22, 2012

The No. 2 Dallas County Hornets led from start to finish, as they cruised to a 72-50 win over the No. 1 Wilcox-Central Jaguars in a battle of Class 4A’s top two teams during day one of the Dallas County Christmas Tournament at Wallace on Friday.

Willie Moore, head boys basketball coach of Dallas County High School (11-2, ranked No. 2 in Class 4A), said tough defense and good rebounding paid off for the Hornets.

“I think we played really good defense tonight and we sort of controlled the offensive and defensive boards,” Moore said. “We were limiting them to one shot and it really paid dividends for us tonight.”

The Hornets got off to a fast start, as William Lee hit a mid-range jumper, and a pair of 3-pointers by Markell Harris helped put them up 10-3 early in the first over the Jaguars (9-2, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A).

But Roman Smith hit a pair of jump shots and Freddie Smith added a basket to put the score at 10-9 in the first.

Harris hit a pair of free throws and Jerrod Moorer attacked the basket for two more points for the Hornets which made it 14-9, but Malik Welch closed the first with back-to-back layups for Wilcox that helped cut the Hornets’ lead to 14-13.

But Dallas County dominated the second quarter, as they outscored the Jaguars 26-9 on their way to a 40-22 halftime lead.

Strong rebounding and defense at the basket by Lee helped the Hornets keep Wilcox out of reach in the second half.

Mark Dukes, head boys basketball coach of Wilcox Central, said with Lee blocking multiple shots in the paint, the Jaguars needed to hit their outside shots, but just couldn’t get it done.

“We came out flat tonight and Dallas County played really good man-to-man defense,” Dukes said. “When you’ve got a player like No. 34 [William Lee] inside, our guards have got to be able to knock down shots from the outside, and we just didn’t have that going for us tonight.”

Harris led Dallas County with 25 points, including five 3-pointers, while Lee had 20 points for the Hornets.

Freddie Smith led Wilcox with 19 points.


Keith 65, Southside 57

The No. 1 Keith Bears trailed deep into the fourth quarter, but mounted a late comeback to defeat the No. 5 Southside Panthers on Friday at Wallace in day one of the Dallas County Christmas Tournament.

Tommy Tisdale, head boys basketball coach of Keith High School (9-4, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, said the Bears played tough late and never quit.

“I credit that to the guys. I thought we started okay. We made a lot of mental mistakes to start the game, but don’t get me wrong, Southside’s a great team,” Tisdale said. “At halftime, I just challenged the team and said either you want to play or you’re going to get blowed out. Leadership was big. Little things, we weren’t doing like loose balls, we weren’t getting them, 50-50 balls, we weren’t getting them. And in the second half, I just challenged them. We had faith and I kept telling them that we weren’t out of it.”

Keith had trailed since four minutes left in the first quarter, but came back late in the fourth.

With the Panthers’ (10-3, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A) lead cut down to 52-51 with over six minutes left to play, Keith’s Rodney Ellis hit a runner in the lane to give the Bears a 53-52 lead.

Octavius Gulley hit one of two from the line to tie it at 53-53, but Walton Young drove down the court for a layup that gave the Bears the lead again at 55-53 with 3:41 left.

Young scored on another layup to extend the lead to 57-53, but Ladarius Acoff scored in the paint for Southside to make it 57-55 with 2:45 remaining.

Ellis hit another big shot in the lane for Keith that extended the lead to 59-55 with 2:40 left and sparked an 8-0 run that included a pair of baskets on offensive rebounds by Demond Holmes which helped Keith lock up the victory.

Cedric Brown, head boys basketball coach of Southside, said the Panthers got too relaxed down the stretch.

“We made some bull-headed plays on both the offensive and defensive end,” Brown said. “My hat is off to Keith. They played a great game, they never quit. Our guys just got a little relaxed.”

Young had 17 points off the bench for Keith, while Ellis led the Bears with 25 points.

Je’von Hall led Southside with 15 points, while Jeffery Mack had 12 points.

Keith will play Dallas County in the championship game at Wallace on Saturday, while Southside will play Wilcox.Games start at 4 p.m.

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