Special to the Register
After trailing 5-0 in the opening minutes, Eminence (2-3) used a 13-0 run to jump out to an 18-11 first-quarter lead and never look back on its way to an 82-51 win over Berea (1-4) Tuesday.
Daniel Hubbard did his best to keep the Pirates in the game. The broad-shouldered senior scored a team-high 13 points, including the first five of the game, and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“Daniel is a load. He’s a threat every time he’s on the floor. If we get him the ball 10 to 15 times a game, we’re in good shape,” Berea coach Cameron Jackson said.
“We want to go inside first and kick it out. Once we get that look and they start double teaming him and we kick it out we get an open shot. Our guys just have to be confident enough to make it.”
But the Pirates were unable to contain Warrior point guard Jalen Dixon, who poured in 37 points, including six three pointers, many which ended Berea runs as the Pirates tried to climb back into the game.
Jackson said his team’s defense, or lack of it, contributed to Dixon’s big night.
“We took breaks off in the second half and they had a guy get hot, get very hot on us and we didn’t guard like we were supposed to,” Jackson said.
After trailing 23-13 early in the second quarter, Berea’s press began to create turnovers which resulted in a quick 6-0 Pirate run capped off by an Eli Woody three that cut the deficit to four.
But five straight points by Dixon stemmed the run and the Warriors extended their lead to 34-25 at the half.
The second half was all Eminence as their lead ballooned to as much as 26 points midway through the fourth quarter.
Jackson said for his team to get better it was going to have to improve on defense.
“We are still at the point where we don’t have all five guys thinking defense. We don’t have all five guys, or the whole team thinking we have to play defense to stop somebody,” Jackson said. “There are just times that we needed to make an adjustment and when we did make an adjustment it was too late. We just have to get better defensively and offensively find our niche.”
Eli Woody chipped in seven points for the Pirates, while Trey Terrill, Nolan Sweet and Andy Allen added six points each. Allen also had seven rebounds in the game.
Dustin Kates scored five points and pulled down four rebounds, while Alexander Shyiem had three, Austin Warford two and Deondre Tate added one.
The Pirates will be back in action Friday at Walden.