JEFFERSON had five players reach double figures Saturday, but Therrell was easily the dominant team in a 74-59 Dragon loss.
Jefferson (0-1) trailed by as much as 29 points in the third quarter as the Dragons fell to the Panthers in the opening round of the Tabo’s Tip-off Classic.
“They beat the crap out of us,” said Dragon coach Bolling DuBose, who guided the Dragons to the Sweet 16 last year. “They played harder. They played smarter.”
Jake Franklin led Jefferson with 14 points, 10 of which came in the second half. Tay Taylor added 11. Satchell Turpin, Tyler Patrick and Jeshua Kidd each finished with 10 points.
DuBose said for Jefferson to be successful against Therrell, a Class AAAA team out of Atlanta, it had to play physical, stop the Panthers’ fast break and keep Therrell from getting into the lane — none of which happened.
On top of that, DuBose said his group simply didn’t play smart and were out-worked by Therrell.
“That’s a recipe for disaster,” DuBose said.
Therrell piled up points in transition, building up a 19-point lead at the half at 40-21. The Panthers opened up the third quarter with a 15-5 run to put the game far out of reach.
“I don’t remember the last time we gave up that many lay-ups,” DuBose said.
Jefferson, which is still missing several football players, had a strong preseason, according to DuBose, but it didn’t translate to the court Saturday.
“That was the worst opening game we’ve had in many years,” DuBose said.
The Dragons continue tournament action Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against Northview. Jefferson will try to make amends for the tough first-game showing.
“I think we’re a better offensive team than what we showed (Saturday),” DuBose said. “But we’ve got to prove it in a game.”
•NORTHVIEW (GIRLS) 44, JEFFERSON 32: The Lady Dragons (0-1) suffered through an all-round poor shooting night in a 12-point loss to Class AAAAAA Northview.
No Jefferson player reached double figures. Sarah Wood led the team with nine points. Kellie Goza finished with eight and Jordan Phillips added seven.
The Lady Dragons shot just 9-of-40 from the floor, 1-of-7 from three-point range and 13-of-27 from the charity stripe.
“Just a poor shooting night,” Jefferson coach Jason Gibson said. “We didn’t take care of the basketball. We need to value the basketball better.”
Gibson said his team did a decent job defensively and under the boards against a much bigger team.
The team even had a chance late as Jefferson trailed just 37-31 with 2:57 left.
Northview, however, hit the front end of a one-and-one, then picked up an offensive rebound of a free throw miss and scored, pushing the lead back out to 10.
Jefferson returns to action Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Therrell as Tabo’s Tip-off Classic action continues.