BRISTOL, Tenn. — Instead of shying away from the tallest player on the court, Sullivan East went right at him. It worked down the stretch.
Dylan Bartley scored 30 points, including four 3s during a 30-10 run to end the game, helping to lift the Patriots to an 81-60 Tennessee-Virginia Shootout victory over Abingdon in the Falcons’ first game of the season on Friday night at Viking Hall.
Led by 7-foot junior Evan Ramsey, Abingdon was tied with Sullivan East at 50-50 with 41 seconds left in the third quarter, but Bartley sparked an 11-0 run with nine points, and the Falcons could never get any closer than eight.
Ramsey was saddled with four fouls, while Dayton Osborne, who led the Falcons with 21 points, fouled out in the final period.
“I think our guys played relentlessly tonight, especially in the second half,” Sullivan East head coach Dillon Faver said. “I am proud of my guys and the effort. It is hard to guard 7-footers when all your guys are 6-1. You have a 7-footer that can hit 3s, who has good moves and can blocks shots.
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“I told them we have got to attack him because if we don’t attack him, we are going to get blocked. If you don’t attack him, you have got to go off two feet and make the pitch to open 3s.”
That worked, with the Patriots picking up the tempo, while still finishing with 11 3s, including four by Bartley and two each from Braden Standbridge, who finished with 12 points, and Hunter Brown, who had 10. Seven Patriots (7-1) scored at least six points.
Abingdon (0-1), which finished as Class 3 state runner-up last season, shot 61% from the field, while trading the lead with the Patriots nine times before the turnovers started to pile up. Haynes Carter added 10 points for the Falcons, which just finished its football season last Saturday.
“We really started practice Monday with our team, and we knew we were playing a good team, we knew Sullivan East could shoot it,” Abingdon head coach Aaron Williams said. “I thought we played really competitive for three quarters, and the turnovers are what killed us.
“We had our opportunities and chances but too many turnovers. You are not going to win having 30 turnovers. ... For this game, for us, there was a lot positive, but there is also a lot to grow from. It is a game we can learn from and get better from.”
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