Riding the hot perimeter strokes of veteran Abiah Releford and 6-foot-3 sophomore Jack Browder, the Indians opened their Big 7 Conference slate with a comfortable 62-51 win over Tennessee High at the Buck Van Huss Dome.
Releford, a 6-1 senior who is the undeniable leader of these Indians, bagged four of his team’s 12 3-point jumpers and led all scorers with 22 points.
Browder also made four 3s, including three in the first quarter to get the Tribe out front and rolling. He finished with 14 points.
“Before the season started, we were in the gym 24/7 shooting the basketball, getting it right,” Releford said. “We veterans know we’ve got to be the leaders of this team, so we’ve got to come to play every night.”
D-B made 12 of 23 tries from 3-point territory and shot 46.9 percent overall.
DEFENSE, BROWDER START WELL
D-B used a trapping half-court press to force six first-quarter turnovers, helping the Indians run out to a quick 8-0 lead they would never relinquish.
The Tribe’s biggest lead was 48-28 halfway through the third period.
“We wanted to slow them down with our pressure, and we didn’t think their guys would handle it too well,” Releford said. “We knew we had to set a good pace for us with our defense. We had to knock these guys down here at home.”
And what about the fresh-faced Browder, the younger brother of 6-foot-7 former D-B standout Charlie Browder, who last spring transferred to Christ School in Asheville with two years eligibility still remaining?
“Jack isn’t Charlie,” Releford said. “But he can flat shoot it.”
Browder hit three consecutive 3s early, lifting D-B from an 8-5 lead to a quick 17-7 advantage late in the first period.
Zane Whitson, a junior who finished with 12 points, hit a pair of 3s for D-B.
VIKINGS CAN’T RECOVER
Tennessee High (8-3, 1-1) was playing without two regulars, and it showed. The Vikings committed 19 turnovers.
“We turned it over three straight times to start the game and got down early,” THS coach Roby Witcher said. “We were able to get it back to six or seven points a couple times, but the rough start put us in a hole.
“Abiah had a good night shooting it for them.”
The Vikings were led offensively by the 16-point game of senior Cole McBrayer. Nolan Wishon scored 14 and Blake Fauver added 10.
LADY INDIANS ROLL
The Lady Indians got back to their winning ways Tuesday night with a 62-22 league rout of visiting Tennessee High.
Coming off a tough loss Friday at Jefferson County, Dobyns-Bennett (8-1, 1-0) dominated the Lady Vikings (3-5, 0-2) from the start, sprinting out to leads of 18-7 after the first quarter and 35-10 by halftime.
The Tribe made 10 3-point shots, with eight players getting in on the fun.
Jabrea Johnson paced balanced D-B with 11 points, Elle Francis added 10 and Caitlyn Wallace pitched in nine.
Tennessee High was led by the six-point outing of Riley Fritts.