Briarwood uses balanced effort in win over Dora

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, January 29, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

NORTH SHELBY – The Briarwood boys basketball team was able to score 15 points in the first three quarters of a matchup with Dora High School on Monday, Jan. 28, before laying the final blow in the final quarter with 20 points to pull away for a dominant 65-51 victory.

The win marked the third in the last four games for the Lions, who improved to 13-11 overall this season and have scored at least 63 points in six of their last seven games.

Briarwood’s offense has been key in keeping games close, despite two losses by five points or less in that span as well, and it showed off in this game, specifically from a balance standpoint as well as the jump shots of Hayden Lamey and Jack Dicen.

In the opening quarter, Lamey and Alex Key both hit 3-pointers, while Zac Nuyt posted five points thanks to a 3-3 mark at the free throw line. That along with two other field goals led to 15 points for the Lions in the opening quarter.

Early on, however, Dora was able to hang in the game with Briarwood thanks to three 3-pointers in the first period. The Bulldogs’ five made shots in the quarter helped them keep pace with 14 points of their own to go into the second down by just one.

The Lions’ consistency then became key, as they posted 15 points for the second quarter in a row thanks to Dicen and Lamey. Dicen ended up knocking down his first two 3-pointers in the quarter for six points, while Lamey hit three field goals for six points of his own.

While that offensive consistency was key, Briarwood’s defense, which has caused them problems at time this year, started to click and matched the intensity on the other end of the floor.

It started in the second quarter by limiting Dora to single digits at nine points allowing just two field goals. With the six-point differential in the period, the Lions had extended their lead to seven points at 30-23 heading into the half.

Coming out of the half, not much changed as the consistency continued for Briarwood on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, the Lions allowed just eight more points on four made field goals, while Dicen continued playing well on the other end. He hit two 3-pointers and went 2-2 from the free throw line for eight points in the quarter, while Lamey, Key and Sam Russell combined for seven more points to put up 15 as a team for the third consecutive quarter.

At the end of three, Briarwood had opened up a 45-31 lead heading to the final quarter of play.

Trailing by 14 entering the final quarter, Dora had to take chances, which led to more of an offensive quarter, but that actually ended up playing in the Lions’ favor.

While the Bulldogs had expended so much effort on the offensive end posting 20 points in the quarter, it led to easier opportunities for Briarwood on the offensive end as well.

Thanks to seven points from Lamey, four apiece from Chance Beard and Russell, as well as five combined from Dicen and Nuyt, the Lions were able to stave off any comeback hopes the Bulldogs had to seal the 65-51 victory.

Lamey led Briarwood with 19 points, while Dicen was just behind with 17 points thanks to five 3-pointers. Lamey ended up hitting three 3-pointers and seven total field goals. As a team, the Lions saw points form nine different players and shot 10-14 from the free throw line.