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Boys basketball: Dukes struggle early, then bury Hawks

OREGON – A nightmare of a start turned into a dream finish for the Dixon boys basketball team on Tuesday night against Oregon.

The Dukes missed their first 12 shots, but found the range in the second half to roll to a 48-28 victory at the Blackhawk Center.

Dixon (21-1, 8-1 Big Northern West) went on a 23-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to blow open what had been a tight game. The Dukes didn’t practice on Monday, contributing to a sluggish start.

“We didn’t move the ball around like we usually do,” senior guard Laron Carr said, “and we missed some easy looks. It was a good lesson for us. If we come out and play like this against a really, really good team, we’ll lose.”

Carr missed his first six shots, but made two 3-pointers late in the second quarter to stake Dixon to a 13-10 halftime lead. With the seal broken, the Dukes were unstoppable in the third quarter.

Carr scored nine of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter, and 6-foot-8 junior Isaiah Roby showed his versatility by hitting a pair of 3s, along with being a dominating presence on defense. He blocked five shots, and altered that many more.

“We ran a little gimmick play to get Isaiah some looks in the third quarter, and that really got us going offensively,” Dixon coach Jason Mead said. “Scoring two points in [the first] quarter just isn’t going to get it done. The good news is defensively, we held them to 28, and it was 22 until the subs came in. I was pleased with our defensive effort.”

Roby finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Cal Jarrett added eight points.

Oregon (9-14, 2-7) scored the first eight points, with junior guard Carson Buck hitting a pair from long distance early. The Hawks’ last lead was 16-15 after a basket from Jarrett Reynolds with 5:14 left in the second quarter, but it was all Dixon after that.

It was a matter of getting worn down, according to Oregon coach Quinn Virgil.

“In the locker room I asked what the number one difference was between us and Dixon,” he said. “Right away somebody said strength. They’re more skilled than us, but their strength is just so much more than we have.

“We did a good job hanging in there, but once they hit a few from the outside, we had to extend our zone, and that opened up the middle. You pick your poison against a team like that.”

Buck hit three 3-pointers and finished with nine points for Oregon (9-14, 2-7).

Star of the game: Laron Carr, Dixon, 17 points

Key performers: Isaiah Roby, Dixon, 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 bocks; Carson Buck, Oregon, 9 points

Up next: Dixon at Mendota; Winnebago at Oregon, both 7:15 Saturday

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