By: Jim Steele
McKENZIE, Tenn. - McKenzie kept the offensive pressure on, was dominant underneath the rim and rolled to a 44-16 win in its middle school home-opening basketball game Tuesday night.
The Rebels raced to a 19-3 lead in the first quarter and limited Gleason to just one shot. The Bulldogs suffered through 13 turnovers in the opening six minutes. McKenzie's Jack Surber had nine of his game-high 13 points in the opening frame, but he had lots of help, too.
Josh Pruitt had seven first-quarter points while Bransen McCaleb and Mitch Merrick tossed in two each.
Things got no better in the second period, either.
Gleason struggled with eight turnovers, but McKenzie's firepower cooled off a bit. The Rebels had 12 first-half rebounds, eight of them on the offensive end. Gleason, meanwhile, was just 1-7 from the floor in the first 12 minutes. The Rebels led 27-3 at the break.
Matt Kelley got things rolling in the third with a bucket, followed by Surber's finger-roll layup with 2:47 to play. The Rebels led Gleason 34-5 after three.
Gleason had a big, physical team, but struggled on the offensive end. The Bulldogs managed to remedy some of that in the final frame. They hit 5-11 from the field and cut into the Rebels lead a bit, but the issue had long since been settled.
Pruitt had eight points and eight rebounds. Kelley, Merrick, Isaiah Townes and Bransen Baucum each had four. Paul Watkins scored three, Zack Jarrett and Dalton Dye each had two to lead the Rebels.
Tracy Perry had nine, Larson Roberts four and Solinas had three.
DRESDEN BOYS 42, McKENZIE 35 at Dresden: McKenzie had chances at Dresden, but suffered a second-quarter drought, which was was sealed the Rebels' fate.
McKenzie trailed 10-8 after one, but managed just three points in the second frame. Dresden led 18-11 at the break. Both teams scored 24 points in the second half.
Jack Surber had 24 points for the Rebels. Matt Kelley scored five, Paul Watkins three and Noah McEwen one. Dresser Winn led Dresden with 16 points.