Pirates hit ground running

Drew Central's senior boys hit the ground running Thursday, November 12, with a 62-36 win over Dermott in the season opener at the DCHS gym.

The Pirates (1-0) practically controlled the game from the opening tip, building a 23-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. First-year head coach Larry Harris said his team's press affected the Rams early.

"We executed the gameplan we came in with and got a lot of deflections, a lot of steals," Harris said. "If you can put pressure on a team, it's going to lead to easy baskets. Our guys got off to a good start, and that made them a whole lot more comfortable."

The defensive pressure had the added effect of keeping Dermott off the scoreboard. The Rams didn't reach double digits until the 4:40 mark of the second quarter, and by that point the Pirates led 29-10.

The margin was 37-16 at halftime and 48-24 entering the fourth quarter, where Drew Central led by as many as 28 points.

Johnathan Bentley and Derrick Williams led the Pirates with 10 points each, while David Bell added nine, and Joey Block had eight. Bell scored Drew Central's first seven points to help the Pirates open on a 20-2 run that set the tone.

Harris said he is blessed with depth and size this season, with five players at least 6-3.

"We go about 10 or 12 deep, and we're big for a 3A team," he said. "We alter a lot of shots."

That size fits perfectly with Harris' inside-out offensive philosophy. Most of Drew Central's points came on drives to the basket.

"We don't want to be a jump shooting team," he said. "We like to go to the basket and get it inside. If your inside game is working, your outside game will start working."

And while Thursday's win was about as thorough as they come, Harris said there's always room for improvement.

"We need to execute a little better in the half court sets," he said. "We gave up some easy baskets here and there, but overall I'm really pleased with our performance."

Drew Central was scheduled to host Crossett on Tuesday, November 17. Results were unavailable at press time. Games at Warren, set for Friday, November 20, have been canceled due to a conflict with state football playoffs.

Drew Central's senior high teams and junior boys will play at Crossett on Monday, November 23, beginning at 5 p.m.

<p>Drew Central's Derrick Williams (35) rises for a shot between a pair of Dermott defenders during a senior high boys game Thursday, November 12, at DCHS. Williams had 10 points as the Pirates opened the season with a 62-36 win.</p>


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