The size and strength of 6-foot-9 Jalen Haynes proved too much as the senior dropped in 34 points and dominated the action inside the paint as Dillard overpowered the East T-birds 68-52 in the first round.
Haynes had nine rebounds, two dunks and altered probably a dozen shots on defense as the Panthers from Fort Lauderdale improved to 6-1 all-time in this their third Classic appearance.
Dillard showcased a strong inside-outside combo with Haynes and guards Darryl Burrows and Ivan Reynolds.
Burrows buried three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points. Reynolds added 11 points and had a one-handed jam that made it 47-34 late in the third quarter.
Speaking of dunks, Haynes caught a body when he flushed a two-handed jam over an East defender right before halftime. He added another layup before the break to give Dillard a 33-28 lead at the half.
The third quarter is when the outcome was decided, with Dillard scoring 12 of the first 15 points.
East missed two layups to start the half, which summed up the frustration. The T-birds faced a stiffing zone defense with long-armed defenders shutting down passing lanes and stalling the offense.
East’s Hasaan Herrington caught fire late and pumped in a game-high 35 points. He drained 3-of-8 3-pointers.
Herrington’s 35 points ranks No. 7 on the Classic’s all-time single-game scoring list.
Dillard 21 12 19 16 – 68
East 12 16 11 13 – 52
Dillard – Reynolds 11, Edwards 5, Mack 2, Bernot 0, Bromley 3, Burrows 13, Brown 0, Maine 0, Haynes 34, Ashley 0, Bennett 0, Phillips 0, Roblejo 0, Brown 0.
East – Herrington 35, Maldonado 9, Carlino 3, Reed 0, Tharjiath 0, Doughty 5, Delaney 0, Voliva 0, Zimmerman 2, Sellers 0.