BLUFF CITY — John Dyer may have lost in Friday night’s nightcap, but his legacy will forever be a win for Sullivan East.
Daniel Boone was the last regular-season opponent in the lengthy career of the Patriots’ boys basketball coach. Unfortunately for Dyer, he was not crowned victorious in a tough battle won 80-68 by the Trailblazers.
“It was a very emotional roller coaster in this game,” Dyer said. “I love this team, and I hope everyone loves this team. We went up against a great group of guys on Daniel Boone and couldn’t come out on top. The wonderful thing about this, though, is this isn’t the last home game. We will be back at (Sullivan East) for the tournament.”
Despite the loss, Dyer will do his best to push East (15-14) and his career as far as they can go during the postseason.
“I can promise you that we will make this last ride in the tournament one to remember,” he said.
Boone (14-12) trailed only a handful of times, but not by much. Jared Adkins’ game-high 32 points carried the ’Blazers to victory. Cade Norris followed with 19 and Colby Backus scored 10.
Dylan Bartley led the way for East with 24 points and Ethan Bradford netted 18.
Dyer’s regular-season finale began with a scoring frenzy before Boone gained a modest lead of 15-10 thanks to back-to-back buckets.
However, East lingered and knotted the score at 19 to start the second quarter, and the Patriots grabbed their first lead of the game, 23-22, midway through the period.
Boone did not trail long, though.
“You are never up by too much with East,” Trailblazers coach Chris Brown said. “We have to continue to play good defense and match our opponent’s scores. I thought we also did a great job at rebounding the basketball.”
An 8-3 run put Boone up 32-29 at halftime.
A pair of 3s for both squads inserted excitement into the early part of the second half before the ’Blazers grabbed momentum with a 9-0 run. Down 47-35, the Patriots scored eight straight to get back within single digits.
Boone’s advantage was six, 51-45, after three quarters, but the ’Blazers opened the final eight minutes with a 9-1 run and never let the Patriots back within single digits again.
DANIEL BOONE GIRLS SURVIVE
Turnovers hurt the Lady Trailblazers, but they pulled out a 47-36 win.
The Lady Patriots tied the score at 34 but Boone closed the game on a 13-2 run.
“I thought we did a great job in the first half,” Boone coach Beau Hauldren said. “I noticed at halftime that we were only up by nine points. I thought we did a great job handling East’s zone in the first half but didn’t do that great of a job of it in the second half. Jaycie Jenkins hit two daggers from the 3-point line to help us close the game.”
Boone (17-9) was led by the game’s leading scorer in Jenkins with 23 points. East (20-10) had only five players enter the scorebook, led by Jenna Hare’s 17 points.