Buccaneers roll past Virginia-Wise

By Jeff Birchfield


   JOHNSON CITY -- East Tennessee State (7-3) had six players score in double figures in a 109-66 rout of the University of Virginia-Wise (6-4) Wednesday night at the Mini-Dome.
   The Buccaneers gave the outmatched Cavaliers little time to mount a threat with three 11-0 runs and one 12-0 run in the first half in grabbing a 60-24 halftime lead.
   "It was important to have our young guys get some playing time," said ETSU head coach Ed DeChellis. "These last few games allowed us to do that. When we need them to win games, hopefully our young kids will be ready to play.
   "We went out the first four minutes of the game and showed what we can do. I felt like our team responded well tonight. They accomplished what we wanted them to do."
   Dimeco Childress led the offensive attack for the Blue and Gold with 21 points. "We didn't want the other team to feel comfortable," remarked Childress. "You never know what's going to happen, so you want to come out and jump on them. "
   Issac Potter came off the bench to have a strong game as well. The sophomore used his 6-6, 225 pound frame to muscle his way to 14 points and 10 rebounds. "It was a different tempo," commented Potter. "You just work hard with the different match-ups.
   "We had an advantage inside. The post men were pretty small. All of us are 6-5 to 6-7 and we can guard inside or outside. We couldn't figure out who to guard, but it didn't really matter. They all were doing about the same thing."
   Other Bucs who scored double figures were James Anthony with 13 points, Ryan Lawson with 12, Tiras Wade with 12 and Zakee Wadood with 10.
   ETSU's balance and athleticism impressed opposing coach Lee Clark. "There's no way to simulate their quickness and athleticism in practice," Clark commented. "We knew after we watched them play JMU, life could be over in a hurry. They are a good basketball team. It's not like playing Division I chump-change.
   "They clamp down on you on defense. I thought they really had us out of our game. We're 3 and 1 in our conference. We know what we are after. It's good for the kids to see this type of athlete. There are some teams in our conference that can put one or two athletes of on the floor, but not all five like we saw tonight."
   Defensively, the Buccaneers held UVa-Wise to 30 percent shooting from the field and only 25 percent in the first half.
   It was a second meeting with a University of Virginia team nicknamed the Cavaliers. Playing against the University of Virginia based in Charlottesville, ETSU lost 85-62. This time around with the smaller Division III school, formerly known as Clinch Valley College, the Bucs had a much easier time.
   One bright spot for the Cavs was Stacy Ervin, who pumped in 19 points. Ervin, a transfer from Western Carolina, had 13 points in the first half before a collision with Childress resulted in six stitches over his right eye.
   "Unfortunately, it happened pretty early," said Ervin about the injury. "Playing here brought back some memories, but those memories weren't that good. It was still good being back, I just wished we would have played better.
   "We got the looks (at the basket), but we just couldn't knock them down. They have a good team. When we're playing in practice, we don't see that speed. We don't have a lot of size or quickness, so all that was hard to deal with."
   Tony McDonald also had double figures for the Cavs with 10 points. He and Ervin were amond seven players from the nearby Southwest Virginia area on the Wise roster. It resulted in a good contingent making the trip to Johnson City.
   "It's a close game, a local game," said Clark. "There were probably some fans here tonight who probably wouldn't have got to see East Tennessee State play. Some of those people may come back to the games. It might be beneficial for that point, fans realizing just a hop, skip and jump down the road there is some good Division I basketball."
   Childress couldn't resist looking forward to East Tennesseee State's next game. The Bucs travel to Nashville, close to the senior guard's hometown of Columbia for a meeting with Vanderbilt of the SEC.
   "That's home for me," said Childress. "There should be 40 or 50 people that I know there. I'm hoping the things (from tonight) will carry over to the Vanderbilt game."