By Charlie Chitwood
The Jefferson High boys are getting on a pretty serious scoring roll, blowing out Ore City and Beckville with 90 points back-to-back before settling down to a mere 64-17 route of Harleton. Tristen Dowell’s Dawgs are now 18-5 on the season and a perfect 8-0 in District 16-3A. As with the girls, Friday night’s date with White Oak is key to district title.
Dee Mitchell continues to pave the way, having averaged more than 22 points per game in the last three. Mitchell hit four three-pointers in both games last week, guiding the Dawgs to a 90-33 win over Ore City and a 90-50 victory at Beckville against the Bearcats.
The extra attention paid Mitchell by opposing players has opened up the floor to all kinds of big production by any number of teammates.
And he’s scored two of the more impressive performers to emerge have been senior Eric Gipson and freshman Lyric Rawls. Gipson’s rebounding and play around the basket has seen him post sound numbers (12 points per game) with a double-handful of crowd-pleasing dunks. Rawls, meanwhile, is picking up more minutes with his defensive play ahead of his seven points per game.
In the win over Harleton, the Dawgs raced out to a 20-5 first quarter lead and never looked back. Jefferson led 34-7 at the half and 58-15 at the end of the third before cruising to the 64-17 win.
Mitchell (21 points) and Gipson (11) reached double digits while Kepha Luster (nine) and Taylor Smith (eight) were close behind. Kylan Thomas hit a couple of first-quarter threes for his six points while Cameron Hicks and Rawls had four points apiece.
Jordan Randle hit a basket and Curtis Henry dropped in a free throw to round out Jefferson’s offense.
Last Friday in Beckville, Jefferson hit eight three-pointers and coasted to a 40-point win over the host Bearcats. Four Bulldogs – Mitchell (22), Hicks (17), Gipson (14) and Thomas (12) reached double-digits in scoring. Slow out of the gate, the Dawgs were tied at 12-all before blistering the nets 29-11 in the second quarter and led 41-23 at the break. The Dawgs then outscored Beckville 23-16 in the third and 26-11 in the fourth for the final margin.
Curtis Henry joined Rawls with eight points against the ‘Cats and Taylor Smith added another six. Luster (two points) and Jordan Randle’s free throw filled out the Dawg scoring sheet.
In Thursday’s weather-delayed match against Ore City, Jefferson bolted from the gate and ran through the tape, taking a 90-33 victory over the visiting Rebels. Jefferson was up 26-9 at the end of the first and led 49-19 at the half. The Dawgs caught their breath in a 14-7 third quarter, then finished off Ore City with a dominant 27-7 fourth quarter.
Mitchell had his biggest scoring night of the last three with a 24-point effort that included four three’s amidst nine field goals. Rawls added 14, Gipson posted 11 and Hicks scored 10 to pace the Bulldog effort.
Luster had eight while Henry and Taylor Smith added seven apiece. Thomas had four while Kavon Smith chipped in three and Jordan Randle two.
The Dawgs return home Tuesday night to face New Diana. Sub-varsity games will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Bulldog Gym.
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