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Bulldogs wallop Dibrell

Eastside’s size, power and athleticism have allowed the Bulldogs to dominate all season.
It was no different Monday night in the 7-8 grade county tournament championship at WCHS.
Eastside was too big, too strong and too quick for the Dibrell Wildcats as the Bulldogs cruised to 49-31 victory. The win caps an undefeated season in county play for Eastside, which is headed to the TNT State Tournament in Springfield on Friday.
“Dibrell was well prepared and they gave us a lot of problems early,” said Eastside coach Kevin Burnett. “We were a little bigger and a little more athletic and that takes its toll after awhile. I’ve had a lot of good teams at Eastside, but this is the best group I’ve ever had, no doubt about it.”
Tyler Beaty was the top scorer for Eastside with a game-high 14 points. He was followed by Raleigh Woods with 10, and Dakota Nunley with nine. Tournament MVP Hunter Hawkins also scored nine.
Dibrell was led by Trey Cantrell with 13, and Ethan Stuart with 10.
Eastside used a decisive 22-5 run that spanned the second and third quarters to put the game away. The rally was a snapshot of what has made Eastside so tough all season. Woods sliced to the basket for layups in transition, and Beaty and Hawkins outmuscled the opposition for baskets in the paint.
Dibrell kept it close in the first half by spreading the floor and running an offense that deliberately took time off the clock. The plan worked early as Eastside was only up 8-7 after the first quarter.
Big post Ethan Stuart kept the Wildcats in the game in the second quarter when he scored six points on three layups. Dibrell did a good job of penetrating and dishing the ball to Stuart, who powered to the rim to cut the lead to 20-15 late in the second quarter.
But that’s as close as Dibrell would get. Eastside rattled off the final six points of the half, including a layup by Dakota Nunley to beat the buzzer, as the Bulldogs were up 26-15 at the break.
Any hopes of a Dibrell comeback were dashed to start the third quarter as Eastside scored back-to-back buckets in under a minute. As the quarter continued, the Bulldogs showed they had too many playmakers – and were too quick in transition – for Dibrell to keep pace.
Defensively, Eastside’s zone refused to let Dibrell get uncontested shots from the perimeter and the Wildcats were tentative to drive inside with shot blockers like Beaty and Hawkins roaming the paint.
Eastside pushed the lead to 22 by the start of the fourth quarter to put the game away. The Bulldogs then spread the floor themselves to milk the clock and ice their county championship.
Other Eastside scorers were Mitchell Stembridge with five and Alex Yates with two.
Other Dibrell scorers were Blaine Wilson with five, Thomas Judkins and Malachi Barrett with two each, and Dillon Jones with one.
For the season, Eastside is 20-1 and has won four tournaments. This includes the Border Wars Tournament in Woodbury, the Morrison Ruritan Tournament, the Masonic Lodge Tournament, and the County Tournament.
The lone loss for the Bulldogs came to Southside of Lebanon, 47-45, in a state tournament in Murfreesboro.


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