Pirates Dominate Dodge City In Conference Opener
By JAY HENRY
November 28, 2018
INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - With non-conference play now behind them, the Independence Pirates opened conference play at home against the Dodge City Conquistadors. The Pirates came out swinging and never looked back picking up a huge victory, 85-57.
The Pirates had six players in double figures led by Alex Torres with 18 points, Sean Pollack with 15 points, Tonje Durham with 13 points, Ricky Edwards with 11 points and 10 points each from Tyreece Berry and Anquaevious Pollard. Pollack also grabbed another double-double with 10 rebounds.
"We moved the ball and guarded really well," coach Tony Turner said. "Sharing the ball made a big difference and I thought that our bigs rebounded really well and that makes a big difference when you can do that."
"Our next opponent is Hutchinson and they'll be fired up playing at home and we'll have to keep them off the boards in order to keep the game competitive."
In the first half, the shots were off for a while, but Tonje Durham found the basket to give Independence the early lead and seconds later, a bucket by Sean Pollack had the score at 4-0 at the 17:00 mark. Free throws by Pollack pushed the lead to six and the sophomore added one more from the line for a 7-0 advantage.
"The production tonight was the result of hard work and dedication to the game in practice," said Pollack. "We got back to working hard to improving our craft and we knew it wouldn't be easy, but we came out playing hard and dominated."
"The next opponent will be tough, but we just have to come out with the same intensity, playing tough defense and executing on offense."
Pollack found the basket again with ease making the score 9-0 and Durham pushed the lead to eleven with a quick breakaway and even added a free throw for twelve. Dodge City got on the board after a three-pointer by Unique Mency, but the Pirates responded with a layup from Alex Torres making the score 14-3.
"I just try to stick to my coach's game plan and emphasize moving the ball, taking pride in our defense and try to stay aggressive the whole time," said Torres. "The game on Saturday is huge so we have to prepare in the best ways we can."
Both teams got a pair of free throws making the score 16-5 and two more pushed the lead out to thirteen just before a layup by Justice Dixon and a three-pointer by Kevin Howard. A layup by Torres was answered with another long shot from Howard to make the score 20-13 just before a pair of shots from the line by Torres.
A huge dunk by Howard cut the lead to seven, but Tyreece Berry found an inside shot making the score 24-15 at the 10:45 mark. Berry found the mark again pushing the lead to eleven and a free throw from Durham and Berry had the score at 28-15.
A bucket by Pollack pushed the lead to fifteen and as the defense tightened up it opened the lane once again for Torres making the score 32-15 at the 6:34 mark. Free throws by Torres and Anquaevious Pollard put the Pirates up by 20 points and after a pair of free throws Pollard responded on the inside making it a 38-18 advantage at the 3:20 mark.
A long shot and a layup by Mason Senigur cut the lead to fifteen, but Pollard was there to make the score 40-23 at the 1:35 mark. The Pirates closed out the first half on a 6-3 run after free throws from Durham and layups by Derrick Redmon and Cory Guest and led 46-26 at the break.
The second half began with a big three-pointer by Ricky Edwards pushing the lead out to 23 points and free throws by Pollack made the score 51-26 with 18:45 remaining. The Conquistadors answered with a jumper from Andrew Stuman, but Durham found the basket to push the score to 53-28.
Free throws by Jibril Harris and another three by Edwards made it a 30-point advantage which Dodge City answered with a three-pointer. Edwards and Howard matched each other with long shots from downtown and Berry found a layup to push the score to 63-34 with 15:20 remaining.
A quick layup by Pollard had the lead out to 31 points for the Pirates, but it was a one-handed dunk by Pollack that set the crowd on fire with the score at 67-34. The Conquistadors responded with a long shot from Mency and a quick layup, but Pollard found the basket again bringing the lead back to 30 points.
A quick shot by Jyrus Freels was answered with a put back by Pollard, but Mency again found the long shot cutting the score to 71-44. A three-pointer by Berry was answered by a Dodge City layup and the teams exchanged baskets for the next couple of minutes making the score 77-48 with 8:14 remaining.
Durham found the basket and along with a layup by Torres, the lead grew 33 points at 81-48. In the last few minutes, Dodge City outscored Independence 9-4, but the Pirates still claimed a huge 28-point victory.
Independence (6-4, 1-0) is on the road Saturday against the Hutchinson Blue Dragons with tip-off set for 7:30 pm.