The Dierks senior high basketball teams opened the new year by sweeping games against Foreman and Blevins.
On Jan. 3, the Lady Outlaws posted a 40-30 win over the Foreman Lady Gators while their counterparts picked up a 54-49 won over the Gators.
On Jan. 5, the Lady Outlaws outlasted the Blevins Lady Hornets, 40-36, and the Outlaws held on to take a 54-53 win over the Hornets.
In the girls’ games against Foreman, Ashton Alexander led the Lady Outlaws with 21 points followed by Grace Martin with seven, Gaby Strasner with six and two each from Emily Whisenhunt, Jacie Sims and Destiny Nutt.
The Dierks girls eased out to an 8-4 lead in the first and then shifted to a 26-15 halftime lead thanks to 18 second-quarter points. The Lady Outlaws won the third quarter, 9-5, but were outscored 8-5 in the final quarter.
The Outlaws had to overcome a 13-7 first-quarter deficit against the Gators to go into the lockers at half barely behind, 26-25. The Outlaw shooters responded in the third quarter by outscoring their opponent 14-9 and then 15-14 to set the 54-49 final.
Jarret Fox hit 22 points to lead the Outlaws followed by Blake Bradshaw with 10, Lane Woodruff eight, Dalton Sherck and Grant Strasner with six each and Zane Cox with two points.
When Dierks and Blevins met on Jan. 5 there were not many points to spare in either senior high game.
The Lady Hornets jumped out to a 13-8 lead over the Lady Outlaws in the first quarter but then saw the Dierks defense all but shut down their offense to take over with a 19-16 lead at the half. Dierks stayed one step ahead of the Lady Hornets in the third for a 28-27 lead headed into the final quarter. Dierks dropped in 12 points while holding Blevins to 9 points to set the final score at 40-36.
Alexander again led the Dierks girls with 20 points followed by Carter and Strasner with six each and four each from Sims and Eckert.
The Blevins girls were led by Batson with 11 points.
The Outlaw-Hornet game went down to the last second with the Howard County team coming out on top, 54-53.
Dierks led 14-7 after the first quarter and then increased their lead to 27-15 at the half. Blevins responded with a 25-point third quarter that got them back in the game and up, 40-39.
Fighting off a Hornet surge in the fourth quarter, the Outlaws outscored their opponent 15-13 to secure the one-point win.
Fox led the Outlaws with 19 points followed by eight points from Blayn Turner and Bradshaw, seven point by Strasner and six points from Chance Gatlin and Cox.
Blevins was led by Burton with 18 points followed by Choate with 12 and Lee with 10 points.