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Dukes use suffocating D to top Hawks

On the defensive

Dixon's Matt Coffey tries to find a gap in the Oregon defense during Tuesday's game at Lancaster Gym. It was the Dukes' defense that made the difference in a 48-34 victory.
Dixon's Matt Coffey tries to find a gap in the Oregon defense during Tuesday's game at Lancaster Gym. It was the Dukes' defense that made the difference in a 48-34 victory.

DIXON – Dixon fans looking for rim-rattling dunks or a barrage of 3-pointers came away from Tuesday's nonconference game against Oregon wanting more.

If they were looking for some hard-nosed defense, however, they more than got their fill.

The Dukes used a suffocating man-to-man defense to keep the Hawks at bay on the way to a 48-34 victory in Lancaster Gym.

Dixon (16-4) allowed Oregon (4-15) to convert just 14 of 36 field goal attempts, racked up 10 steals, and did it all without fouling. The Dukes committed just 10 fouls, and the Hawks went to the free-throw line just five times.

"We take a lot of pride in our defense," junior guard Matt Coffey said.

Oregon was reduced to a few options when it had the ball. The first was to let senior point guard Jessie McKinley take his man, usually sturdy junior guard Cal Jarrett, for a 1-on-1 opportunity. McKinley had limited success, scoring 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting.

The second option was sophomore forward Trevor Otten, who drained three of his four 3-point attempts, and matched McKinley with 11 points.

"They run a lot of isolation stuff to try and get Jessie into the paint," Dixon coach Jason Mead said. "For the amount of shots he took, I thought we did a nice job on him. They got Otten some open looks, but otherwise, I thought we executed our man-to-man defense relatively well."

Oregon coach Quinn Virgil was impressed with the Dukes' defense.

"They're smart, and they rotate well," Virgil said. "I thought probably our biggest problem was some of their rotations. They get out in the lanes well, and we made some pretty weak passes."

Dixon seized control of the game during an 8-minute stretch spanning the first and second quarters, when it turned a 6-4 deficit into a 23-9 lead.

Oregon got to within 39-28 when McKinley scored at the end of the third quarter, but Dixon opened the fourth with an 8-0 run to essentially put the game on ice.

Laron Carr paced a balanced attack with 13 points, Jarrett had 12, Isaiah Roby had 11, and Coffey added nine. The Dukes were 17-for-39 from the field, and 3-for-11 from 3-point range.

Coffey gave credit to Oregon's 1-3-1 zone, a defense he noted the Dukes have some room for improvement against.

"We've got to work on extending it, and our scout team being more aggressive up top," Coffey said. "The 2-3 and 1-2-2 zones don't give us much trouble. The 1-3-1, we need to work on getting into the middle and kicking it out to shooters."

The game was one last homecoming for McKinley, who attended school in Dixon through his freshman year.

"It was like a second Senior Night," McKinley said. "My old team, they're all grown up now, one last time playing in Lancaster – it was all pretty good. I wish it could have come out the other way, but what can you do."

Star of the game: Laron Carr, Dixon, 13 points, 3 steals

Key performers: Cal Jarrett, Dixon, 12 points, 8 rebounds; Jessie McKinley, Oregon, 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals

Up next: Oregon at Stillman Valley, 7:30 Thursday; Dixon at Sterling, 7:30 Friday

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