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DSA snaps Vipers' win streak, 68-54

Jan. 22—DURHAM — Vance County snapped their three-game win streak when they lost to the Durham School of the Arts 68-54 Friday night.

Tony McDonald was on-one against the Vipers. The sophomore guard led the way for the Bulldogs, scoring 21 points on nothing but threes, shooting 7-13 3FG (54%).

"For my size, it's hard to get what you want around the rim, especially if they're bigger than you," said McDonald.

"My teammates looked for me a lot, that's why I hit. They believed in me," he said.

With about six minutes left, Ja'den Nottingham hit the dagger, putting the Bulldogs up by 18 with a corner three-ball.

The Bulldog's game plan was to attack Vance County's big man, Taeshawn Alston, and get him in foul trouble. Alston picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter. Vipers head coach Chad Wilson was very frustrated with his team's performance during and after the game.

Alston was swatted three times in a row in one possession by 6-foot-5 DSA senior Jadin Haynes. Haynes recorded six total blocks on the night, with four coming on that one series alone.

With McDonald in the corner, Josiah Dorseete on the ball, and Darryn Johnson "running the lane," DSA head coach Joshua Dorsette orchestrated his team to a well-coached victory.

Late in the first quarter, small forward Tyshawn Alston flew in for an offensive rebound and midrange putback. After three straight threes from McDonald, his bench stood up collectively as he shot his fourth — but sat right back down after he finally missed his first shot. With 13 seconds left in the first quarter, Vance County checked in Damien Jones.

In the second quarter, Jones' first shot was blocked as he was clobbered from behind.

Next time down, he got to the line with a right-to-left hesitation and euro step and gestured his opponents to "shush."

"They know me from last year. I was giving them the work last year, they hate me," said Jones.

Jones missed the first free throw as DSA Fans were heckling him. Arguing with Tyshawn Alston, Jones elected not to use the help offered by his teammate and returned to his feet on his own.

"He wasn't communicating, I was trying to tell him just get back and play your spot. Everybody wasn't picking up fast enough," said Jones.

"We started coming back, breaking down the lead. But it's just discipline, we didn't listen, that's why things went left," Jones said.

In the second quarter, Taeshawn Alston, hesitant to shoot, fed Tank Sheppard in the lane for the bucket, but down the floor, Sheppard was late to close out as McDonald hit another three. Finally, Alston got one to go in the paint, followed by a beautiful fake-pass lefty layup from Harold Timberlake IV, brother of Destiny Timberlake.

This time it was Tyshawn Alston with the fancy footwork in transition — and the Vipers were rolling, but so was McDonald.

Getting blocked again, Jones had become the home crowd's newest antagonist, jeers flooded the stadium as he worked to get around his defender. Jones was cooking, shifting defenders all night, and spurring offensive possessions for his team.

McDonald hit his fourth three of the night, but Timberlake showed he can shoot threes too, making it 26-18 Bulldogs.

Vipers flew around in their zone faster than the Bulldogs could move the ball. In a 30-22 game, it was Jones again attacking, but this time he was stripped, and McDonald checked back in for DSA as they dropped back into their zone defense.

Wilson, again frustrated after Sheppard left his feet without a plan and committed the turnover in the open floor, 33-22.

Another turnover from Sheppard in the open court, made Wilson angrier as the Vipers continued to be sloppy with the basketball. The Bulldogs rainbowed a three from just inside halfcourt that hit all nylon and DSA entered halftime up by 10.

More three-point barrages in the second half from McDonald put the game just out of reach. With the lead in double digits for most of the fourth, the Vipers' deficit proved insurmountable.

"It's just the 'Bull-City' toughness, I teach that in practice," said Dorsette. "We're still working."

With the win, DSA is now an even .500 in conference play, and the loss sends Vance County back down under .500 on the year at 6-7. The Vipers will go on to face Granville Central on the road next Tuesday.

STATSTony McDonald (So.) — 21 PTS (7-13 3FG)

Jadin Haynes (Sr.) — 17 PTS (1-10 3FG), 6 BLKS

Darryn Johnson (So.) — 10 PTS (1-1 3FG)

Tyshawn Alston (Jr.) — 16 PTS

Shamir Sheppard (Jr.) — 12 PTS