The Eminence Warriors traveled to Bedford on a wintry Saturday night after having their opening home game with Gallatin County postponed on Friday night due to bad road conditions.
The Warriors’ Jalen Dixie did not let the weather affect his shooting as he came out of the gate red-hot. Dixie hit 14 of 25 field goal attempts en route to a 44-point performance as the Warriors defeated the Trimble County Raiders 74-69. Dixie was 5-10 from three-point range, 9-15 on two-point field goals and 11-17 from the charity stripe in scoring 59.4 percent of his team’s points.
“He should have had about 13 or 14 assists but we missed a lot of lay ups,” Coach Chris Nethery said. “He passed the ball very well. We played pretty well as a team but had some simple mistakes that kept us from running the score out a little more.”
Dixie added five assists, four rebounds and three steals to his prolific scoring performance.
Nethery said the team got out to a five to six point lead early and should have built it further if not for missed lay ups and blown defensive assignments. Trimble County was able to cut the lead to two points by the end of the period.
In the second quarter the Warriors again stretched the lead out to five points and Dixie hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 36-28 going into the locker room at halftime.
Coming out of halftime the Raiders clawed their way back to within two points before the Warriors went on a run to stretch it out to seven points. Dixie again had some last second heroics when he hit a 16-footer at the buzzer to make it a nine-point game.
Trimble County was not disheartened though and fought back to a take a one-point lead with about five minutes to go. Dixie immediately answered with a 15-footer to give the Warriors the lead back. The Raiders would never regain the lead.
Down the stretch the Raiders fouled to try and catch up and Dixie, the Warriors’ primary ball-handler, went to the line often, connecting on 10 of 14 free throws.
Cornelius Sanford had seven points and seven rebounds for the Warriors. Junior Trevor Payton, who did not play basketball last year, also contributed seven points. Payton knocked down two of four 3-point attempts in the game and drew the praise of his coach.
“Trevor had a really good game and did what we needed him to do offensively,” Nethery said. “He also did a good job on defense.”
Nethery was also pleased with the inside play of Mitchell Golden. “It might not show up in the box score but Mitchell had a good game defensively against their post player. He took a couple of charges and really frustrated him.”
The Warriors’ outside game played a key role in the win. EHS hit 9 of 16 3-point attempts to just 6 of 18 for the Raiders.
The Warriors snowed-out game with Gallatin County has been rescheduled for Feb. 3.