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Dibrell's win streak snapped
kade hillis
Kade Hillis scored 11 points to help Eastside beat Dibrell Thursday night. It was the first 7-8 grade loss for the Wildcats since 2016. - photo by Jeffery Simmons

Dibrell’s domination of the 7-8 grade boys elementary league came to an end Thursday night.

Eastside snapped the Wildcats’ 34-game winning streak in the league, which dated back to 2016, winning 35-18 in the Morrison Ruritan tournament semifinals. 

“We never really talked about the streak when it was going. We just took it day-by-day and kept trying to get better,” said Dibrell coach Dustin Curtis. “I just look back to how special it was to win 34 games in a row. That's hard to do - a lot goes into winning just one game.

"The group who started it are juniors now, which really puts it into perspective. All the credit goes to the kids, they put in the work. I love all my past and current players like they are my kids."

With the ever-changing rosters in elementary basketball, it was going to be hard for Dibrell to continue its streak. The Wildcats lost their entire starting lineup from last season, when they went 17-0 and won all but one of their league games by 10-plus points.

Eastside flipped the script Thursday, leading wire-to-wire to earn its way into the tournament finals. The Bulldogs went on to beat Centertown in the tournament finals Friday.

Jaythan Boyd and Kade Hillis led the way for the Bulldogs, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively. 

Boyd’s athleticism overwhelmed the Wildcat front line, allowing him to get into the lane for layups and putbacks. Hillis did most of his damage from outside, draining a pair of 3-pointers. 

Hunter Knight also showed his outside touch, adding a pair of 3-pointers on his way to an eight-point outing. Dylan Vandeveer added four points for the Bulldogs.

Kyle Cannon was on the opposite sideline guiding Eastside to the big victory. Now in his first year with the Bulldogs, Cannon knows all-too-well about Dibrell's success as they served as a road block to championships when he was at Morrison. 

Cannon's hope is this win starts building up his Bulldogs.

"Dibrell has a great program. They have been very good over the last couple of years," said Cannon. "It was great for my boys' confidence to beat a team like Dibrell.

"It was good to experience what it feels like to win a game against a good program. I hope we can carry the confidence into the season."

Garrison Randolph scored six points to lead Dibrell, while Dominick Marquez and Hunter Basham scored four points apiece. Vincent Flores and Hayden Jones tallied two points each.

Dibrell will get a chance to start a new winning streak Monday when it plays at home against Manchester Westwood. Action is set to start at 6 p.m.