Bears shoots past Mustangs
Bland County (65) Vs. Eastern Montgomery (41)
Dec 12, 2012
By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLAND, Va. — Scoring isn’t a problem for the Bland County Bears. Neither was stopping the other team on Wednesday night.
Asher Dillow scored 22 points to lead three Bears in double figures, and the Bears jumped out to a 22-7 first quarter lead and ran past Eastern Montgomery 65-41 at Bland High School.
Bland County (4-1) has now won four games in a row since losing its season opener to Floyd County.
“This team has so much room to grow,” Bland County head coach Rich Hankins said. “A lot of these younger kids are just now getting a feel for what we are doing and our inside kids are getting stronger and getting better and that is going to help us down the road considerably.”
Dillow hit a pair of pull-up 3s to finish with nine points in the first quarter and 18 at the break. He added four more in the third and then watched the rest of the game from the bench.
Chase Hankins added 14 points and Darryl Clark had two 3s and 10 points.
“We really wanted to come out and establish a lot of defensive pressure in the first half, turn them over and get some easy buckets,” said Dillow, who came out feeling confident, collecting three 3s for the Bears. “It feels really good, a lot of my stuff is confidence and once I see the first couple go down I feel like I don’t even have to look, I just throw it up.”
While the Bears are scoring 70.6 points per game, Hankins had been looking for less from the opposition and the Bland County defense definitely got it done in this one.
The Bears led 39-20 at the break, and wound up leading by as much as 28 at 54-26 with 1:33 left in the third period.
“Defensively, by far, that was our best effort to date, we have been struggling defensively keeping pressure on the basketball out front and tonight it was tremendous,” Hankins said. “It really turned into some easy baskets which gave us some confidence early and we shot the lights out of the basketball in the first half, and that really opened things up for us.”
Eastern Montgomery ( 4- 2), which entered having won four straight, was led by J.T. Shrader, who had four 3s and 15 points. Kendall Sisson added 10.
The Bears took early leads of 5-0 and 10-2 before using an 8-0 run capped off by a Clark 3 for an 18-5 advantage. He added two free throws and Dillow hit a runner in the lane and Bland County was up by 15 after the opening period.
The Mustangs never got any closer than 14 the rest of the game.
“If we can come out and play defense like we did tonight and get after people, we are a great 3-point shooting team,” Dillow said. “If we can get out and get some layups in transition and pull-up 3s we will be hard to handle.”
Hankins, whose Bears played without starting center John Miller, was able to play his reserves for most of the second half, and received eight points from Andy Pauley and solid rebounding from Jonah Miller.
“These kids need some confidence as well as those four or five seniors, but there are a couple of kids there that are really coming off the bench, Jonah Miller, in particular and giving us some board work that is exactly what this team needs,” Hankins said. “A couple of those other kids are starting to come around.”
Size isn’t one of Bland County’s strengths and it showed at times against the Mustangs, but Hankins thinks the Bears can overcome in other ways.
“I am afraid that is going to be a weakness all year,” Hankins said. “We are just so mismatched on the interior, but we are going to continue to fight and get better defensively on the interior in particular and that is going to help us.”
While Dillow leads the Bears in scoring with 22.6 points a contest, Hankins quietly scored 14 as he works his way to joining Dillow and Clark as 1,000 points scorers for Bland County. He has had games of 32 and 26 points this season.
"He seems like he is gaining confidence game by game,” said Hankins’ father and Bland’s head coach. “He was very good the first night against Floyd even though we lost and played well (last) Friday night against Northwood and played well again tonight. Hopefully that will continue.”
It will need to on Friday as the Bears seek to extend its win streak to five, but will have to do it against Division 3 Tazewell at Rocky Gap, a matchup that Bland County won last season 82-80.
“That is going to be a tough ball game,” Hankins said. “I know Tazewell is going to play well, they are flat going to get after us and it should be an interesting ball game on both sides.”
at Bland High School
EASTERN MONTGOMERY (4-2)
Kendall Sisson 10, Ford 4, J.T. Shrader 16, Fields 2, Deweese 2, Campbell 4, Yaw 1, Phillips 1, Clayton 0, Akers 4, East 2. Totals 14 8-19 41.
BLAND COUNTY (4-1)
Asher Dillow 22, Goins 2, White 0, Darryl Clark 10, Chase Hankins 14, Jonah Miller 4, Faulkner 2, Pauley 8, Lambert 0, French 3. Totals 24 11-3 65.
Eastern Montgomery.......7 13 7 14 — 41
Bland County............22 17 15 11 — 65
3-point goals: EM 5 (Shrader 4, Sisson 1); BC 6 (Dillow 3, Clark 2, French 1). Total fouls: EM 13; BC 16. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none. JV—BC 36-31.