By Bob Flynn
Register Staff Reports
By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
When he was putting together this year’s schedule, Model coach Wes Scarberry was looking for matchups that would challenge his squad.
So, he set up a couple of showdowns with tradition-rich 11th Region programs.
On Friday, the Patriots faced the first of those two big challenges, taking on Paul Laurence Dunbar in Richmond, and they held their own.
Model (3-1) got 17 points from Anthony Gerald and 16 points from Zack Rice-Gordon in a 70-54 loss. The Bulldogs took a 21-7 lead after the first quarter, but were never able to totally pull away.
“I was extremely happy with how we played,” Scarberry said. “Our effort was really good. We got down early, I just think it was our first home game and everyone was nervous. Maybe a little bit scared. After that, I thought we played right with them.”
The Patriots came into the game undefeated, but certainly hadn’t faced anyone as tough as Dunbar (3-2). Model’s three wins had come against Monticello, Sayre and Burgin.
The Patriots got back within nine points at halftime (36-27) but trailed 54-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
Model was just 10-of-18 from the free throw line.
Gerald led the Patriot offense despite injuring his hand in the first half. Jon Ballard finished with 11 points, A.J. Hammons had seven points and Brendan Hill had three points.
Rice-Gordon, a junior transfer from Madison Central, hit four three pointers and had 10 points in the second quarter as Model got back in the game.
“Zack can do a lot things,” Scarberry said. “He handles the ball extremely well. He can shoot and we are really glad to have him with us. He’s make progress learning from the older guys and learning to play in our system.”
Model is set to return to action at 4:45 p.m. today against Beechwood at the Berea Classic at Berea Community.