Dixie's Josh Nance (5) attempts to get past Emerald's Mil Hackett for a layup during Thursday's second game of the Index-Journal Emerald City Classic at Emerald High School. 
(PHOTOS BY SHAWN M. KNOX | SPECIAL TO THE INDEX-JOURNAL)
Dixie's Josh Nance (5) attempts to get past Emerald's Mil Hackett for a layup during Thursday's second game of the Index-Journal Emerald City Classic at Emerald High School. (PHOTOS BY SHAWN M. KNOX | SPECIAL TO THE INDEX-JOURNAL)

The Emerald High School boys basketball team likes to play an aggressive, up-tempo brand of hoops.
It was able to do just that Thursday evening.
The Vikings used a suffocating, swarming defensive effort to create turnovers and fastbreak opportunities Thursday afternoon, as they swamped Dixie 88-43 in first-round action at the Index-Journal Emerald City Classic at Emerald High School.
Emerald coach Mark Sorrow said he thought it was crucial to start the tournament with a win.
“That’s always big in a tournament, getting the first one,” Sorrow said. “I thought we came out a little sluggish and didn’t play really well in the first quarter. But, we got it going defensively and that was really big for us. ... Our offense is fueled by our defense. I feel like how well we play offensively is determined by how well we play defensively.


“In the second quarter we picked up the intensity and changed to some 1-3-1 (zone) stuff and put a lot of pressure on the ball. That turned into some easy baskets. Any time you can shoot layups, as opposed to jump shots, there’s a lot higher percentage.”
Emerald was led by guard Stan Hackett, who finished with 23 points. Hackett tallied 21 of those points in the first half. BJ Glover and Isiah Brown each added 11 points for the Vikings, while Bruce Johnson and Kelvis Louden each had 10 points.
Sorrow was able to get a number of players into Thursday’s game, with reserves playing for a large chunk of the second half. He said it was good for some of his younger guys to get playing time.

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