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Warhawks leave plenty of room for improvements

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
A 24-point loss is a 24-point loss no matter how anybody looks at it.
If there was a positive from the Jefferson Davis College Warhawks' 114-90 loss on their home floor to the Pensacola Christian Eagles Monday, it was their play in the second half.
"It was closer to the level of intensity and execution that we need, but it is still a 24-point loss," Warhawks coach Allen Gainer said. "We just have to get better."
JDCC struggled through a first half that saw it trail 58-32 at halftime and by as many as 40 points in the second half.
"For starters we have to start holding our opponents under 100 points. We gave up 103 (to Gadsen State) in our opener and 114 in this game. We scored 90. That should be enough to win," Gainer said. "Our transition defense hasn't been very good. Unfortunately we lost Jamal Carson to a knee injury in the Gadsen State game and Jamal is the heart of our intensity. It also cuts into our depth even more and we're a little thin with numbers to begin with."
JDCC (0-2) took brief leads of 5-4 after a three-pointer by Greg Dickinson and 7-6 after another hoop by Dickinson before the wheels came off.
Pensacola Christian (1-0) went on a 13-2 run over the next two minutes to take a 19-9 lead and never looked back.
The Warhawks were able to cut that deficit into single digits on three occasions. The last came after a three-pointer by Dickinson, who had a team high 23 points, made it 29-21 with 11:40 left in the first half.
Pensacola Christian used an 18-6 run over the next six minutes to swell its lead up to 20 points at 47-27. It grew to a first half high of 57-28 in the final minute of the half.
JDCC had no defensive answer for Pensacola Christian's Josh McBride and Paul Baird. That pair combined for 44 of the Eagles 58 first half points. McBride was especially deadly in the opening 20 minutes with 26 points, while Baird added 18. They eventually combined for 64 points, which included 36 by McBride.
After the disastrous first half, the Warhawks showed some signs of life in the second half. They trailed by as many as 33 points in the first two minutes of the second frame before they started to cut into that gap. Led by a pair of buckets and two free throws by Junior Coleman, a pair of hoops by Ryheen Drakeford and a dunk by Dickinson, JDCC got within 82-56 with 13 minutes left.
The Warhawks took a big step backwards over the next five minutes when the Eagles went on a 20-6 run to swell their cushion to a game high margin of 102-62.
One bright spot for JDCC was the final seven minutes, as they trimmed as many as 20 points off that lead. They cut the deficit to 110-90 when Coleman scored with a minute to go, but that was by far too little, too late.
"Despite the score, we had some positives. I was real pleased by the efforts of freshmen Junior Coleman and Ryheen Drakeford. Junior had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Ryheen had nine points and nine boards. We didn't shoot real well from the free throw line, but at least we got there 37 times. We cut our turnovers from 15 in the first half to 10 in the second half. That's still way too many, but it was better," Gainer said.
JDCC dropped its season opener at Gadsen State Saturday 103-76.
"We took a 4-0 lead at the start of the game before Carson got hurt. That seemed to take a lot out of us," Gainer said.
Gadsen State moved in front 27-13 at the halfway point of the first half and extended it to 53-29 at halftime.
The hosts continued to pull away in the opening moments of the second half, as it had an 80-45 advantage at the halfway point of the frame.
"We had 31 turnovers for the game that led to 36 points for them and we gave them 16 more points on nine offensive rebounds. That was a big key to the game," Gainer said.
Dickinson poured in 28 points to lead the Warhawks, but he was the lone JDCC player to reach double figures.
Up next
JDCC is back in action Thursday when it hosts Alabama Southern at 7 p.m.
Saturday's game
JDCC 29 47 – 76
Gadsen State 53 50 – 103
JDCC (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Dickinson 10-2-2-28; Hubbs 1-2-0-8; Thompson 4-0-0-8; Montgomery 4-0-0-8; Burno 0-2-0-6; Foster 3-0-0-6; Owens 1-1-0-5; Carson 0-1-0-3; Coleman 1-0-0-2; Madison 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 25-8-2-76)
GADSEN STATE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Hicks 2-3-4-17; Gray 8-0-0-16; Hoxle 6-0-1-13; Sweatt 2-1-5-12; Wilson 5-0-2-12; Richardson 4-0-3-11; Cross 5-0-0-10; Harris 3-0-1-7; Nance 0-1-2-5 (Totals: 35-5-18-103)
Monday's game
Pensacola Chr. 58 46 – 114
JDCC 32 58 – 90
PENSACOLA CHRISTIAN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) McBride 9-4-6-36; Baird 11-0-6-28; Anderson 1-3-1-12; White 4-0-1-9; Griffin 1-0-6-8; Humble 3-0-1-7; Ortego 1-0-2-4; Sellars 0-0-2-2; Dunn 0-0-2-2; Irish 0-0-1-1; Schlehlein 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 32-7-29-114)
JDCC (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Dickinson 7-2-3-23; Coleman 6-1-5-20; Foster 2-0-8-14; Drakeford 3-0-3-9; Hubbs 2-1-1-8; Montgomery 3-0-2-8; Burno 2-0-2-6; Thompson 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 27-4-24-90)