Photo: Howard Abell/MidTennSports
By Lucas Panzica
DICKSON, TN – The Dickson County Cougars faced Independence at home on Friday for the first game of the 2019 new year, and it was only the Lady Cougars that celebrated a win.
Coach Erin Webb’s girls shot 45 percent from the floor, cruising their way to a 61 to 39 victory. However, Webb was not completely satisfied with the performance, particularly with the number of turnovers the Lady Cougars surrendered.
“If we’re looking to push the ball, we’ve just got to be careful” said Webb.
“We just got a little sloppy, we’ve got to clean that up and mature.”
Dickson County forced 25 turnovers and gave up 19, but it was the offensive output from the two seniors, Ryann Roberts and Raegan Purvine that powered the Lady Cougars to a comfortable win. Roberts led the team in scoring with 19, while Purvine added 15 points and 9 rebounds. The Freed-Hardeman signee gave the Lady Cougars the spark they needed in the first quarter, scoring the team’s first 6 points.
“She (Purvine) came out and hit shots when nobody else could” said Webb, “and she does that a lot for us.
“She’s just one of those players that comes out and gives us a solid showing every night.”
The win marked Dickson County’s eighth straight victory and improved the Lady Cougars to 12-3 overall and 5-1 in district play.
Independence had just 10 girls rostered on Friday night, and were led by Kesley Leedle with 13 points. Post player Kayla Miller added 10 points and 8 rebounds under the basket as well. That loss drops the Lady Eagles to 3-13 overall, and 1-5 in District 11.
The Dickson County boys took the floor right after the girls wrapped up but were not able to replicate the performance, as Independence picked up the 67-58 win.
It was a game of runs early on, with multiple lead changes throughout the first and second quarter. At halftime, Independence was clinging onto a 35 to 30 lead.
“We’ve got to be able to go out there and get some stops” said Dickson County coach Jason Tigert. “We did not do that in the third period but in the fourth period we battled.
“It’s not that we weren’t playing hard, but we’ve got to be more sound.”
In the third quarter, the teams started to separate as Independence jumped out to a 13-point lead. Junior forward Matt Charles had 11 second half points after not scoring the first half, and the Eagles held an 11-point advantage going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter however, the Cougars were able to get back into it behind an 8-0 run. With just over a minute to play, junior point guard Winn Gramling hit a 3-pointer to give the Cougars a 56-55 lead, their first one of the second half.
On the ensuing Independence possession, a scramble for a loose ball under the hoop led to a technical foul called on Dickson County’s Darian Burns. Independence senior guard Jack Sisson was able to convert both free throws and hit a jumper on the following possession to give the Eagles a 3-point lead with under a minute to play.
On the inbound after the Sisson basket, DJ Stacy was tripped up and earned a trip to the free throw line for a one-and-one, but missed on the front end, and the Eagles were able to rebound and hit their free throws on the way to a 67-58 victory.
“We’ve got to be able to guard without fouling” said Tigert, “we weren’t able to do that all evening.
“They knocked down 22 of 23 from the free-throw line, so when you shoot 95 percent from the free-throw line you put yourself in a position to win and that’s what they did.”
Independence was helped by five different players scoring in double figures, Sisson led with 18 points. DJ Stacy led the Cougars in scoring with 19, as they drop to 10-5 and 4-2 in the district. The loss also brings a 6-game win streak to an end for Dickson County, while Independence picked up their fifth win in the last eight contests. The Eagles improve to 5-10 overall and 2-3 in district play.
Independence returns home on Tuesday to face a struggling Spring Hill squad, while Dickson County has a tough road test at Franklin.