By Dave Brousseau
FORT LAUDERDALE – Led by senior forward Jalen Haynes, game-high 31 points, Dillard cruised to a 77-56 victory past Fort Lauderdale in the opening round of the BCAA Big 8 tournament at Fort Lauderdale High on Wednesday.
The Panthers (18-6) will play the winners of Thursday’s Stranahan/Miramar game in a semifinal on Friday.
Joining Dillard in the semifinals will be Northeast after its 57-49 victory over Western.
Dillard clearly had the height advantage inside as Haynes and Ivan Reynolds benefitted with easy baskets. The pair combined for 49 points.
“We knew there team was going to shoot the ball well from the outside and we didn’t necessarily want to make shot for shot,” said Dillard coach Darryl Burrows. “We knew the inside would be open and we felt Jalen and Ivan would have a good night.”
Even guard Chandler Mack good looks inside with nine second half points
“They had no inside game so me and Ivan took the game to the rim,’ said Haynes. “We came in second place last year, so we have the mindset of winning the whole thing. We’re just little hungrier this year.”
The Panthers 77 points was a season high, surpassing the previous high of 74 against Miramar and Coconut Creek earlier this season,
Still Burrows wants more on defense and wasn’t totally please with his offensive output.
“Not really because we gave a up quite a few points as well,” said Burrows. “We pride ourselves on playing defense. We wanted to keep that teams’ numbers really low.”
Dillard exploited its ability to score in the paint in the second quarter and outscoring Fort Lauderdale 24-8 for a 37-24 lead at the half.
Haynes was dominate in the half with 19 points, while getting additional support by Ivan Reynolds, who dropped 10 points as part o the second quarter outburst.
The Flying L’s were fortunate to stay as close as the they were by converting five 3-pointers in the opening half. Jordan shorter and Alex Vertus each had 17 points for the Fort Lauderdale (18-6).
Dillard’s win over the Flying L’s was the first in 10 years as the two team hadn’t met since 2010.
Northeast has never played for the opportunity to win Big 8 championship. They moved a step closer on Wednesday with its hard fought over Western,
The Hurricanes advance to Friday’s semifinals against either Pembroke Pines Charter or Boyd Anderson.
Northeast clearly wasn’t at its best and had trouble keeping enough separation between themselves and Western.
Western junior guard Jack Anderson was solid in keeping his team close by sinking five 3-pointers. Still it wasn’t enough.
“We knew that Western could shoot,” said Northeast coach Zach Gillion. “They played good and played tough. We feel good coming into the semifinals because we’ve played both those teams and have beaten them earlier.”
Tyrecke Francois had 12 points, while Wesley Cardet and Matthew Bewley each had 11 points to pace the Hurricanes (18-5)
Western (14-7) gave Northeast fits during the first half and pulled to within 26-23 following Jack Anderson’s 3-pointer with 44 seconds before the break. It was the Wildcats only basket of the second quarter. Anderson finished with a game-high 21 points.
The Hurricanes added five points to the lead for a 31-23 lead at the half.
Northeast opened the game on a pair of slam dunks off fast-break opportunities as it looked to be a long night in the making for the Wildcats. Five 3-pointers in the half kept Western close.
NORTHEAST 57, WESTERN 49
W (14-7): Buroz 2-0-4, Robinson 4-2-12, Ayers 2-0-5, Ostrow 0-1-1, J. Anderson 7-2-21, G. Anderson 1-2-5.
NE (18-5): Francois 5-1-12, Dyges 1-0-2, Black 4-0-8, Harris 2-2-7, Cardet 3-5-11, M. Bewley 5-1-11, R. Bewley 3-0-6.
3-pointers: Francois, Harris, J. Anderson 5, Robinson 2, Ayers, G. Anderson. Half: NE 31-23.
DILLARD 77, FORT LAUDERDALE 56
FL (18-6): Shorter 6-5-17, Hardge 3-2-11, Vertus 6-3-17, Bain 3-0-6, Johnson 1-2-5.
D (18-6): Reynolds 6-6-18, Mack 5-1-11, Bernot 0-2-2, Bromley 2-1-5, Burrows 2-0-6, Haynes 13-5-31, Bennett 1-0-2, Phillips 1-0-2.
3-pointers: Burrows 2, Hardge 3, Vertus2, Johnson. Half: D 37-24.