SYLVESTER -- Donald Poole just keeps repeating his team's mantra.
"We're just trying to keep improving," the Dougherty boys basketball coach said Friday after the Trojans' 82-66 win at Worth County.
After finishing with just four wins a year ago, Poole's Trojans picked up win No. 5 with still nearly a month to play in the 2009-10 season. But more importantly, Dougherty (5-8) improved to 4-2 in Region 1-AAA, behind only the big bad bullies from the city, Monroe and Westover.
Dougherty used a 31-point second quarter Friday to blow past Worth County, turning a 17-16 lead after one quarter into a 47-32 halftime lead.
The Trojans went on an 11-0 run in a span of 1:30 in the second quarter. Freshman Joshua Lewis hit two threes in the spurt, part of a barrage of five 3s from Lewis, who finished with 17.
"He's been working on his shot," Poole said of Lewis. "He hit five the last game (vs. Cairo), so he's coming around."
Coming around? That's the understatement of the year talking about a freshman burying treys on the road in a key region game.
Worth County's Josh Alford did his best to keep the Rams (4-11, 1-4 Region 1-AAA) close, scoring a game-high 22, but it wasn't nearly enough. Dee Nether scored 12, while Jatavius Rockwell added 13 for Worth.
After a 1-2 start to the region slate, Dougherty has won three straight heading into Tuesday's game at Crisp County. Outside of not having to play Westover and Monroe during the winning streak, what's been the difference?
"We're just working hard," junior McArthur Gaines said. "That's it."
Trojans' senior point guard Arabian Williams did his usually thing, scoring 15 points while throwing his Herald Super 6 body around the court like a rag doll. Christopher Holmes added 11 in the win.
Still, a much-improved Dougherty High team has work to do in the eyes of Poole, especially with another serving of Westover, Monroe and the rest of the Region 1-AAA menu coming back around.
"We've still got a long ways to go," Poole said.
DOUGHERTY GIRLS 60, WORTH COUNTY 45:
The Lady Trojans couldn't do anything wrong it seemed in the beginning, jumping out to a 17-0 lead before Worth's Christie Smith found nylon for the Lady Rams' first points with 3:36 left in the first quarter.
In fact, Smith was about the only player that could find the basket in the first half for Worth (2-8, 1-4 Region 1-AAA). She scored 16 of the Lady Rams' 18 points, as Dougherty pulled out to a 33-18 halftime lead.
"They really jumped out," Lady Trojans' head coach Charlene Jackson said. "Even I was a little surprised at the intensity they came out with."
Dougherty's Tiara Todd scored 21 points to lead the Lady Trojans (7-5, 4-2 Region 1-AAA), who have won four straight games in region play after starting 0-2. Jessica Roberts added 10 in the win.
Smith finished with a game-high 22 points, hitting four 3s. Dee Welker also hit three 3s for Worth to add 10 points.
Dougherty is at Crisp County Tuesday, while Worth hosts Turner County today at 7 p.m.