DALE – The Pirates of Dale extended their win streak to seven Tuesday after escaping Vanoss 51-49 in a back-and-forth contest that could have been anyone's game.
“It was a tough game from start to finish. We had to play four strong quarters,” Dale coach Jeff Edmonson said.
Vanoss led Dale 9-7 in the first and stretched the lead by six with two treys courtesy of Kyler Byrd. Logan Woodruff landed a bucket for the Pirates with 1:23 left and the teams went scoreless until Woodruff got a putback early into the second.
The teams traded blows and a triple from Woodruff and steal and layup by Dallen Forsythe sent Dale into the half trailing 24-23.
The Pirates took their first lead since the first on a basket by Gabe Gouge to start the second half and Gouge landed two free-throws to stretch out to a 3-point lead. Vanoss' Byrd responded with a trey of his own to tie it up and the teams traded leads for the rest of the game.
A layup by Trae Thompson on an assist by Forsythe gave Dale a 47-45 lead with 38 seconds left in the game and two shots in a one-and-one opportunity by Woodruff extended the lead to 49-45 with 24.2 to play.
The Wolves committed two costly turnovers in the final 35 seconds of the game and Dale was solid at the charity stripe.
Woodruff and Gouge each finished with 16 points to lead Dale scorers. Jono Johnson and Thompson had six apiece and Johnson hit two treys.
Vanoss' Sando Hill led all scorers with 17 points and Byrd had 12. The Wolves had nine 3-pointers as a team with four coming from Byrd and three courtesy of Hill.
The Pirates were 10-13 from the line to help earn the win. Their aggressiveness in getting to the line and scoring in the paint has been a big key to the win streak, Edmonson said.
“One of our goals has been to shoot more free-throws than the other team. It just seems like any time we shoot more free-throws we win,” he said.
Dale (13-10) will face No. 5 Wewoka (15-6) on the road Friday.