Titans lock down Cavaliers in 73-47 victory

McDowell's Qualique Garner elevates in the lane during Tuesday's 73-47 win over East Burke in the season opener Tuesday. The Titans are on the road at Foard Friday night. Josh Davis/blueridgesportsphotography.com

As you might expect in a season opener, the McDowell Titans’ offense was a little ragged at times Tuesday against the East Burke Cavaliers.

But their defense was so good, it didn’t matter.

The Titans used a dogged defensive effort to throttle the Cavaliers 73-47 at Titan Gym to begin the 2018-19 season. McDowell forced 24 turnovers, including nine in the opening period, and held East Burke to 28-percent field-goal shooting.

Not surprisingly, the Titans led wire-to-wire.

“I thought that (McDowell’s defense) was the key,” said Titans head coach Brian Franklin. “We talked all preseason and I know we’ve got a team that can do that. We still had a lot of breakdowns where people drove around us, but I thought the intensity was great.”

In addition to their defensive dominance, the Titans put four players in double figures and shot 51 percent from the field.

Senior guard Dylan McRary (3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) scored a game-high 18, 12 of them during a third quarter that saw McDowell outscored East Burke 26-12 and break open what had been a nine-point game at the half.

Senior guard J.C. Olivo (3 assists, 3 steals) added 16 points and made 5-of-6 shots. Junior wing Qualique Garner (6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists) added 11 points and was a major factor on defense. Sophomore post Trent Lewis had a memorable varsity debut with a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards. Fifth starter Adam Randolph scored six points and swiped a team-high five steals.

Franklin was complimentary of all and said Garner’s early defensive work was crucial.

“Q set the tone early on,” said Franklin. “Right out of the gate, getting a steal off the inbounds there at the tip, and pressuring the ball when we went full-court. I thought everybody else did a great job.”

McDowell opened up a 15-3 lead late in the opening period, but East Burke hung around and whittled the deficit to 29-20 at the break.

The Titans responded by making their first eight shots of the second half.

McRary accounted for McDowell’s first eight points of the third quarter, with all of them coming in a span of 1:45. McRary buried a pair of 3-pointers off assists from Olivo, and then made a driving layup that put the Titans up 37-23 with 6:15 left in the quarter. The Cavaliers never recovered; McDowell led by as many as 25 late in the period.

Bryce Brittain and Aasin Lor scored 10 points apiece for East Burke, but the Cavs couldn’t overcome an 18-of-65 shooting performance. The Cavs were just 9-of-34 (26 percent) from 3-point range.

McDowell out-rebounded East Burke 37-31 overall, but the Cavs held a 19-10 edge in offensive rebounds. It was the only statistical area in which East Burke led.

“What we weren’t good at was rebounding the basketball,” said Franklin. “They took a lot of perimeter shots and there were some long rebounds, but there were a lot of instances where we just weren’t checking out. That’s something we’ve got to get better at.”

The Titans are on the road at Foard Friday (4:30 start—jayvee boys).


East Burke (47) Aaron Morrison 1-10 0-0 2, Luke Coble 0-4 0-0 0, Bryce Brittain 3-5 1-2 10, Austin Teague 2-4 0-0 5, Trey Ward 0-0 0-2 0, Gavin Cox 3-10 0-0 9, Micah Chrisco 1-2 0-0 2, Logan Shuford 2-11 0-1 6, Aasin Lor 5-11 0-0 10, Camdyn Propst 1-2 1-2 3, Brett Childers 0-3 0-0 0, Joe Alexander 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 18-65 2-7 47.

McDowell (73) Qualique Garner 4-7 3-4 11, Adam Randolph 2-3 2-4 6, Trent Lewis 4-6 2-2 10, Dylan McRary 7-14 2-3 18, J.C. Olivo 5-6 4-6 16, Dequan Boyce 0-2 0-0 0, Richard Handy 0-0 2-2 2, Andruw Randolph 1-4 0-2 2, Trenton Gragg 1-2 2-2 5, Tyler Rector 0-1 0-0 0, Johnathan Ramirez 0-0 1-2 1, Jalen Robbins 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Aldridge 0-0 0-0 0, Seth Harrison 0-2 1-2 1, Mack Branch 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 24-47 20-31 73.


East Burke           05   15   12   15 – 47

McDowell            15   14   26   18 – 73


Rebounds: EB (31) MHS (37) Rebound leaders: EB (Chrisco, Shuford 5) McDowell (Lewis 10) 3-point goals: EB (9-34) MHS (5-12) EB (Morrison 0-5, Coble, Alexander 0-3, Brittain 3-5, Teague 1-2, Cox 3-8, Shuford 2-6, Lor 0-2) MHS (Olivo 2-2, McRary 2-5, Garner 0-2, Gragg 1-2, Rector 0-1) McDowell assist leaders: (Olivo, McRary 3) McDowell steals leaders: (Ad. Randolph 5, Olivo, McRary, Garner 3) McDowell blocked shot leaders: (Lewis, An. Randolph 1) Turnovers: EB (24) MHS (20)


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