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Tribe boys, girls roll to Big 7 wins on homecoming

By JOHNNY WILSON, Sports Correspondent • Jan 29, 2020 at 2:34 AM

KINGSPORT — Injuries, wintertime sickness and attrition can certainly disrupt the flow of a high school basketball team, but the Dobyns-Bennett boys may end up better off in the end as a result of all the hard knocks of the 2019-20 season.

This time floor leader Zane Whitson was out with an injured hand, so the Indians looked other places for a spark Tuesday night at the Buck Van Huss Dome, placing four players in double figures in an 81-60 Big 7 Conference thumping of Volunteer.

“Coach (Chris Poore) has done a great job of giving us confidence when we’re on the floor,” said Indians guard McKinley Tincher, who hit two 3-point shots and finished with 10 points. “He’s always building us up — no negativity at all.”

See Todd Brase’s 📸📸📸 from Tuesday

The 5-foot-11 Tincher said his coach instills the confidence that he and other young players, such as fellow sophomore Jack Browder, may otherwise lack.

“Coach lets us know that no matter who we are, that we can step up and make that big play we need as a team,” Tincher said. “And likewise, when players are out of the game and over on the bench, we support the guys on the floor.”

The 6-3 Browder played tough on the inside to score 13 points. Abiah Releford, a 6-1 senior, and 6-4 sophomore Malachi Hale scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, to pace the Tribe (11-10, 6-2) offensively.

Releford and Hale both have missed games with sickness or injury, as have a number of other members of the D-B squad — which also has had two players quit this season. The circumstances have allowed freshmen like Jonavan Gillespie, who scored nine points, to get his chance on varsity.

“We all believe in each other and we’ve improved as the season’s gone along,” Tincher said. “We’re still getting better.”

Releford connected on three of D-B’s 3-pointers, including a 30-footer at the first-half buzzer to provide the Tribe with a 40-23 advantage at intermission.

Volunteer (7-17, 0-9) had trailed 33-23 with three minutes remaining in the half before allowing the Indians to score the last three buckets of the period.

The Falcons could get no closer than 51-36 thereafter.

“When they came to our place (on Dec. 19) they kind of hit us in the mouth and we just kind of took it,” said Volunteer coach Mike Poe, whose team lost 69-37 in that meeting. “But tonight I thought we competed well and played hard for 32 minutes.

“The thing that Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill can do to us with their athleticism inside ... we just can’t match up around the basket.”

The Falcons were led by the 12-point game of Garrison Barrett and the 10-point outing of Dakota Hicks.


The Lady Indians totally dominated, 64-24.

“We shot it awfully well tonight,” said D-B coach Bill Francis. “And that’s nice to see because we’ve been struggling.”

Megan Ayers shot it particularly well for the Tribe (18-7, 7-1), knocking down six 3-point shots and scoring a game-high 20 points. Teammate Elle Francis made three 3-pointers herself, finishing with 13 points.

The Lady Falcons (12-11, 3-5) got a seven-point game from Audrey Evans.

D-B led 14-9 after one quarter and 33-11 at halftime.

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