DICKSON — This is a story about family. Four seniors who played significant roles on last year's Plainview team returned: Jackson Bobst, Jerry Harris, Caleb Hunter and Jordan Jones.
Meanwhile, Plainview got an infusion of talent via transfer. Devin Jones moved from Southmoore. Taylon Chambers moved from Tuttle, coach Chris Ryan said.
With a point guard as quick as Jones, Ryan decided to alter his philosophy from his first season, which involved more of a half-court game. His decision paid dividends Friday at Dickson Gymnasium in Plainview's 63-55 win.
The Indians survived Clinton Bland's three-point burst.
“They're all great people,” Chambers said of Bobst, Harris and Jones. “They all accepted me as soon as I walked in the door. It was great.
“Getting to know Devin, since he's also a move-in, was kind of nice. We've bonded very well. I think we were able to show it on the court. Overall, the team chemistry is up there. We're a family, basically.”
Freshman Blake Nowell's free throws at the 4:12 mark gave Plainview a 16-15 lead, an advantage it would not relinquish. Devin Jones had a team-high 17 points — 13 from the free-throw line, where he hit three of four technical-foul charity tosses due to a Dickson player's ejection after he committed his fifth foul at the 3:05 mark of the final quarter.
Plainview (6-6, 2-1 Lake Country Conference) scored an untold number of points in transition. Devin Jones said quickness helps break down a defense. Ryan expressed happiness with his team's play in that aspect.
“We talked early in the season and said we're going to change things up,” Ryan said. “This year, we're going to commit to playing faster. We're still working out some of the kinks as far as pushing the basketball and not forcing up fast, bad shots. We want to push, and if it's a good shot, we want to go capitalize every time we get a chance. If it's not there, we want to get into a half-court set and play fast out of that until we get a good look.
“It's a new system. Every game, I feel like we're improving. I enjoy the way we're playing. The kids are buying into it. It's a good thing.”
Chambers scored 16 points.
Ryan said Chambers' success is due to following coaches' instructions and doing “everything right.”
Chambers credited his success to hard work and constantly making himself available. “You're always there at the right time at the right place to score, get rebounds, do basically anything.”
Chambers is an “all-around athlete” who's stronger than he looks, Jones said.
Plainview led 29-20 at half. After Ty Frasier put his head down to create a basket to open the second-half scoring, the Indians scored the next four field goals — all in the paint.
In the final minute of the third quarter, Dickson (4-8, 0-2) senior Clinton Bland hit three 3-pointers, all from at least three feet behind the arc. His shots cut the Comets' deficit from 41-28 to 44-37 after three quarters.
Bland also hit three 3-pointers in the final period. The first occurred with 6:56 to play, cutting Dickson's deficit to 44-40. At the 6:09 mark, he hit two free throws to make the score 46-42. The Comets got no closer.
Dickson did a good job closing out effectively on Plainview's shooters. The Comets held Jordan Jones without a 3-pointer. In fact, Nowell hit the only triple, a shot from the left corner with 5:28 remaining that extended the Indians' lead to 49-42. Nowell had five consecutive points.
Plainview shot 14 of 20 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to keep Dickson at bay despite the Bland brothers' four 3-pointers. Dickson shot 6 of 8.
Games against Dickson are “real intense,” Jones said, and this one was no exception.
“I'm just proud of the team win,” Ryan said. “I'm proud of how we persevered through this and won the game.”
Plainview 6 23 15 19 — 63
Dickson 9 11 17 20 — 57
Plainview: Devin Jones 17, Taylon Chambers 16, Blake Nowell 12, Jordan Jones 7, Caleb Hunter 6, Brycen Cox 4, Michael Greisman 1.
Dickson: Clinton Bland 23, Garrett Watterson 9, Brenton Bland 8, JT Marsh 7, Ty Frasier 6, Hunter Palesano 2, Tyler Jennings 2.
Plainview: 1 (Nowell)
Dickson: 9 (C. Bland 7, B. Bland 2)