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Dickson boys basketball falls short to Springer

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

DICKSON — It’s not often that a squad is at full potential in the first game of the season. It usually takes a few contests to get in a groove, especially when a number of football athletes just started practicing with the rest of the group.

That’s exactly the situation for the Dickson High School boys basketball team and it showed Thursday as miscues proved costly in a 53-49 loss to Springer.

“There was some fight, but you can’t turn it over like that and you can’t be that dismal from the free-throw line and give yourself a chance to win,” said Comets head coach Norman Tippeconnie. “I told them, ‘Hopefully we can learn from it.’ I thought the effort was there, but the execution wasn’t. We had our chances and we didn’t convert from the free-throw line. You make half of those, you probably win the game.”

The struggles at the charity stripe were hard to overlook as Dickson missed 16 attempts, with nine of those coming in the second half. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time as the Comets needed those points in a close game down the stretch.

Dickson slowly chipped away at an eight-point halftime deficit by playing tough defense in the third quarter. Both teams combined to score just 12 points, but it was a different story in the fourth.

The Comets traded blows with Springer early on, before Josh Palesano scored six straight points to give his team the first lead of the second half at 37-36. Dickson wasn’t done yet, as a 9-2 run gave the home team a 40-38 advantage with 3:47 remaining in the game.

That lead was short-lived though, as Springer answered with a 7-0 run and held off a few late charges to get the win.

“I was proud of my boys,” said Cardinals head coach Caleb Fulton. “It’s nice to go beat a 4A school when you’re a Class B school. I thought my boys really stepped up. Dickson played really hard. They gave us a good challenge.”

Springer’s Malik Brown led all scorers with 16 points, while Cory Leu added 12 and Mickey Hunnicutt finished with nine.

Meanwhile, Charvis Wright paced the Comets with 13 points, followed by Jager Porter with 11, Palesano with eight and Johnny Smith with seven.

Dickson (0-1) is back on the floor at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 at Wynnewood, while the Cardinals (2-2) travel to Healdton on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

“We’re going to improve,” Tippeconnie said. “We go again Dec. 4. We’ll get back after it. We’ll be better.”