“We’re playing the tough schedule we are right now to prepare ourselves for the playoffs,” Leslie said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Dunbar made 11 of 17 3-point attempts, led by Allen’s 5-of-8 performance, but the Wolverines made only 11 of 40 two-point shots and 11 of 17 at the foul line, a place they had been hot from in recent games.
Buchtel was also hot from 3-point range and shot 62.8% overall and made 10-of-13 free throws. The hot shooter was Christian Harmon, who made 10 of 11 shots and 5 of 6 3-point shots for 25 points. Thurmon was able to find Harmon for threes and others for open shots when he would drive and draw help defenders.
“We didn’t stick to the game plan,” Dixon said. “We knew that 21 [Thurmon] likes to get downhill, and we let him create lanes for easy shots for them. They were 6 for 10 from three and that was off his playmaking ability. So we didn’t make him uncomfortable like we were supposed to.”
Dunbar has experience with Leslie and Antaune and Antone Allen, but they are also being bolstered by freshman Hatcher. He scored 14 points and had four assists.
“The game is starting to slow down for B.J.,” Dixon said. “He’s a heck of a scorer and he’s a high IQ freshman. I was very happy with his play today, and I wasn’t surprised.”
Antaune Allen scored 18, Leslie 16 and Gay 11. The Wolverines committed only seven turnovers in the fast-paced game.
“We’re definitely on the right track,” Dixon said. “Of course we want to get wins, but we loaded up our schedule like this just to prepare us for the state tournament.”