Ninety Six's Grant Dickey defends against Ware Shoals' Jatezz Coleman Tuesday during the first quarter of Ninety Six's 57-35 win.
(Andrew Macke | Index Journal)
NINETY SIX - Entering Tuesday night's season opener against Ware Shoals High School, the Ninety Six boys basketball team had not even had a full practice yet, thanks to the Wildcats' deep football playoff run.
With the performance they put on the floor against the Hornets, it was hard to tell.
Ninety Six came out of the gate red-hot and scored the game's first nine points before carrying a double-digit lead through most of the contest and cruising to a 57-35 victory.
"At times (Tuesday), I thought we looked real good," Wildcats (1-0) coach Ike Dickey said. "We brought a little pressure and got that 9-0 run to start the game. I think (later) we got a little fatigued, but we've got a lot of potential if we can play together."
Last year's meeting went down to the wire and was clinched by two late free throws from former Ninety Six guard Marquise Williams. This year's contest had no such drama as the Wildcats pounced from the opening tip and never relented.
The Hornets, playing without stud guard Juwan Abney, who did not dress, not only spotted Ninety Six the first nine points of the game, but fell behind by as many as 12 in the first quarter. They fell behind by 15 at the half, and were able to close the gap to less than 15 just once in the second half.
"They just outplayed us, outhustled us in the first quarter," Ware Shoals (0-1) coach Tim Gaines said. "We didn't play like we were coached to play (and) kind of went back to some old ways of not playing fundamental."
Dequarius Hadden led Ware Shoals with 14 points, the only Hornet to score in double digits.
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