SULPHUR — Sulphur senior shooting guard Chase Dilbeck was given the green light by Bulldogs coach Chase Todd to shoot the ball from behind the three-point line during Tuesday’s Lake Country Conference contest against visiting Dickson – no matter how far he was behind the arc.
Dilbeck launched a 3-pointer from about five feet behind the arc with 5:29 remaining, pumped his chest in celebration, and most importantly, give Sulphur the momentum that it needed to finish a 54-47 victory. He finished with 12 points — all 3-pointers.
“We haven’t really had a close game like that,” he said. “This right here was a good test for us against a good team.”
Dilbeck’s shot put the capper on a remarkable comeback for Sulphur (3-2) which trailed by 11 points in the second quarter.
Sulphur’s defense played a key role in the rally.
The Comets (2-5) rushed their offensive possessions as the game progressed which the Bulldogs got steals off of.
Dickson went to the free-throw line 10 times during the fourth quarter but was limited to one field goal: a Brenton Bland 3-pointer.
The primary issue for the early struggles, Todd said, was being passive on offense and settling to pass the ball around the Comets’ zone defense instead of taking advantage of its size inside.
Dickson outworked the Bulldogs on the glass for rebounds and senior Quentin Herbert used his quickness to score eight first-quarter points. He paced the Comets with 16 points.
Making successive 3s within a span of two minutes, the second of which came with 2:18 remaining, he staked the Comets out to a quick 12-3 lead.
That advantage grew to as large as 19-8 on a Ty Frasier jumper with 6:25 remaining before halftime.
“We’ve had a lead twice in the other two games that we have won,” Dickson coach Billy Haley said. “We’ve got to find that mix between being aggressive and playing too fast.”
Lacking the necessary energy and faced with foul trouble early, including senior Nick Magruder, who picked up his second foul at the 5:26 mark of the first quarter, Sulphur finally came alive midway through the second.
Sulphur moved the ball with better purpose and the pressure by the Bulldogs’ defense caused Dickson to operate at a pace that is quicker than it would like it. The Comets’ lead whittled away because of six second-quarter turnovers.
Magruder got Sulphur to within 19-18 after he made a jump shot. He finished with nine points.
Sulphur pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Todd said. “We’re really young right now. ... We started to read the defenses a lot better during the second half.”