By Mike Tupa
DEWEY — Rodgers and Hammerstein. Batman and Robin. Skywalker and Solo. Gehrig and Ruth. Garfield and Odie. Santa and Rudolph.
Dewey High School's boys basketball team unleashed its own Dynamic Duo — Miller and Rippy — during a blockbuster victory Friday at the expense of the visiting Caney Valley (Kan.) High School Bullpups.
Blayz Rippy poured in 19 points and Drew Miller added 14 points to lead the Doggers past the Pups, 62-41. Rippy and Miller combined for 15 points in the game-changing third period.
Kameron Hayes added 16 points — 10 of them in the second half — to the Dewey cause.
A flood of spectators washed into the Dewey gym to watch the fledgling — but intense — rivalry showdown.
Led by senior power plant Baylor Melchiori — who electrified fans on both sides with his high-energy production — the Pups pounced out to a 6-2 lead and extended their lead to five points by the end of the first quarter, 21-16.
Caney Valley's grueling, blue-collar work on the offensive boards also made a difference during the first eight minutes.
Melchiori — recently named the Class 3A All-State football kicker — pumped in 10 of his team's first 21 points, including a steal and buzzer-beating layup to end the opening period.
But — unfortunately for Caney Valley first-year head coach Joshua Wolfe and the squad's faithful — Melchiori's night would be cut short.
Not too long after he buried a three-pointer — launched behind a screen set by a teammate — Melchiori left the game with a rolled ankle.
When Dewey began to take control in the third period, Melchiori came off the bench and gritted through the pain to try to leave a Pup revival. But, he wouldn't score again and finally exited after the Dewey lead grew too lopsided.
But, back in the second quarter, Caney Valley had held its own, even without Melchiori.
The Pups powered out to a nine-point lead, 27-18, after Ty Messner completed a three-point play with 4:56 remaining until halftime.
Dewey answered with an offensive rebound and stick-back by Blake Timmons — his only points of the night.
Dewey then trimmed the lead to five points, 27-22, after Rippy rebounded his own miss on a three-pointer and drove in for a layup.
Another Rippy deuce made it a 27-24 game. However, Caney Valley headed into halftime with a 28-24 lead, thanks to a free throw by Saje Cowell.
However, momentum had already began to turn turncoat on the Pups and switched over to the Dewey side.
Paced by Rippy and Miller — who tallied eight and seven points, respectively, in the third period — Dewey burst out to a 49-35 lead.
The Doggers grabbed their first lead of the quarter on two free throws by Alfredo Lopez, 32-30, with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter.
Caney Valley answered with Camdyn Melchiori's two-point bucket.
Miller than nailed a three-pointer to elevate Dewey to a 35-32 advantage. Camdyn fired back with his own trey to forge another tie, 35-35.
But — ignited by Rippy's uncontested downtown missile from the right wing — Dewey surged on a 14-0 run to end the quarter.
Another Rippy trey stretched the lead to 41-35.
Moments later, Hayes stole the ball and took it to the rack for a transition deposit to widen the gap to 43-35.
After the Pups came up with another empty possession, Miller scored on one of his patented drives — in traffic — to the hoop to push Dewey to a double-digit lead, 45-35.
Caston Frye also scored for Dewey during the scoring splurge that carried Dewey to a 49-35 lead at the end of the third period.
Rippy netted a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter scoring — and the rest of the game was just a countdown for Dewey fans to victory.
Camdyn Melchiori finally ended Dewey's 19-0 run — including parts of the third and fourth quarter — with three-pointer.
But, Dewey outscored Caney Valley, 13-6, in the final quarter to put an exclamation point on its triumph and improve to 3-4 going into the Christmas holiday.
Caney Valley is 2-2.
Dewey 62, Caney Valley 41
Caney Valley 21-7-7-6—41
Baylor Melchiori 5 1-2 13, Camdyn Melchiori 3 0-0 8, Ty Messner 3 1-2 9, Trevor Watson 2 0-0 4, Grant Richey 1 0-0 2, Andrew Anderson 1 2-4 4, Saje Cowell 0 1-4 1. Totals: 14 7-14 41.
Blayz Rippy 7 2-2 19, Caston Frye 2 0-0 5, Colton Thornton 2 0-0 4, Kameron Hayes 6 2-2 16, Blake Timmons 1 0-2 2, Drew Miller 4 5-6 14, Alfredo Lopez 1 2-2 4. Totals: 23 11-14 62.