DALE – The Dale Pirates earned revenge on Christian Heritage with a 54-49 home win Tuesday night. The No. 20 in Class 2A Pirates lost to CHA 47-34 earlier in the season.
“They're a really good team. They beat us by 13 earlier in the season and they play hard and they play physical and I'm proud of our boys. That's a big win,” Dale coach Jeff Edmonson said.
Edmonson made a big switch this time around in an attempt to catch Christian Heritage off guard. The Pirates typically play in a zone defense, so coming out in man might have caught them off guard.
“I think we might have surprised them a little coming out in man,” he said.
Christian Heritage got going with six unanswered to start the game, but the Pirates bounced back with 11 straight to take an 11-6 lead with 2:09 left in the quarter. The Crusaders' Ryan Largerman hit a 3 to stop the streak and Gabe Gouge earned a strip and breakaway basket to take a 13-9 Pirates lead into the second and kick off a 10-0 run to the 4:45 mark of the second.
CHA responded with seven more unanswered and Dale went on a 9-7 run to go into the lockers with a 32-23 lead.
Buckets by Trae Thompson and Dallen Forsythe started the second half for Dale but a 17-4 run through the 1:25 mark got Christian Heritage within one at 41-40. Gouge put in a layup to stretch the lead to 43-40 going into the fourth.
Edmonson and the Pirates prepared for a late push by the Crusaders and stuck with the plan to get the win.
“We knew we had to play four quarters because they are good," Edmonson said. "Both of us are right there. We're state tournament teams. They're well coached and they've been in a lot of big games before. We knew they weren't going to quit, we knew they were going to come back and we knew we'd have to play that second half.”
The final quarter saw the teams go shot for shot but the Crusader's found themselves constantly one trey away from the tie – they earned several good looks, but every on target shot rimmed in and out. A 6-0 run by the Pirates capped on a layup from Logan Woodruff and assist by Forsythe gave Dale the advantage they needed to get the win down the stretch.
Gouge led all scorers with 16 points and Woodruff had 15. Thompson finished with eight and Brady Johnson had seven.
Christian Heritage was led by Zack Hale with 13.
Dales moves to 11-10 on the season with the win. They travel to Class B unranked Varnum Friday.