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Sullivan East, Central split Three Rivers twin bill

By PAT KENNEY, Sports Correspondent • Jan 22, 2020 at 1:31 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan East coach John Dyer’s final trip to Sullivan Central and the Dickie Warren Dome on Tuesday was memorable in many ways.

Dyer’s Patriots blew open the game in the second half and cruised to a 74-46 Three Rivers Conference boys basketball win over the Cougars.

Central honored Dyer, who is retiring at the end of this season, and during the evening Dyer noticed a familiar face in the crowd: the man for whom the gymnasium is named.

“It was so great to see Coach Warren in the stands,” Dyer said. “To have been able to coach against and learn from a legend like him will always be something very special to me.”

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Dyer’s Patriots held a tenuous 31-27 lead at halftime, but when they went on an 11-0 run to start the third quarter, the Cougars had no answer.

“Much better defense for us in the second half,” Dyer noted. “We rebounded well and got out on the break.”

Dylan Bartley had 18 points and Clayton Ivester added 14 for Sullivan East (11-10, 4-2). Jacob Fields led Central (7-16, 2-5) with 14 points.

LADY COUGARS STILL IN CHARGE

In the opener, the Three Rivers-leading Lady Cougars gave themselves some breathing room atop the standings with an 64-35 mauling of the Lady Patriots.

The Lady Patriots were looking to grab a share of first place with Central. What they got was more than they bargained for.

East (14-9, 5-2) jumped out to a 6-2 lead only to see the Lady Cougars go on a 22-2 run. It only got worse from there. Central (20-2, 7-0) led 38-15 by halftime and 55-23 after three.

“This is a special team,” Central coach Kristi Walling said. “But lately we’ve been doing just enough to get by. We challenged them this week to treat each game like it was a next-level game.

“I think tonight they responded. This was a huge win for us.”

Jaelyn West led Central with 18 points and seven rebounds. Avery Leming added 14 points, and Abbey Crawford pulled down 10 rebounds.

“We got off to a decent start, but when Central responded, we just wilted,” said East coach Allan Aubrey. “Central played with a lot of confidence and we didn’t.”

Hayley Grubb had 14 points to lead the Lady Patriots.

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