SHAWN CUNNINGHAM

Commerce’s Shawn Cunningham takes an open shot Friday (Dec. 20) in the Tigers’ 77-67 win over Prince Avenue. Commerce is off to an 8-3 start after winning two games last year.

If the Commerce boys' basketball team wanted wins for Christmas, it has them in abundance. 

The Tigers quadrupled their win total from last season by getting three-straight wins in Athens, moving the 2019-20 season-win total to eight. 

Commerce defeated Athens Christian 68-50 (Dec. 21), Prince Avenue Christian 77-67 (Dec. 20) and Athens Academy 58-54 (Dec. 19). 

"Extremely proud of our effort," head coach Russ Gregg said. "Defensively, our man-to-man defense has been really good, and (Saturday) we had to make an adjustment and go to a full-court press." 

The change in defense vs. Athens Christian resulted in the Tigers outscoring the Eagles 20-4 in the fourth quarter. 

"We went to our press and it was pretty good," Gregg said. "We can do some different personnel." 

During the team's win vs. Prince Avenue, the 3-point line was good for the Tigers as the team shot 9-of-14 from downtown. Gregg called it as good of 3-pointing-shooting display since he has coached at Commerce.

"That's pretty hard to beat anywhere ... I thought the fourth quarter (Friday night) we played as well as you can as a basketball team," Gregg said. "We played together."

The Tigers outscored the Wolverines 23-20 in the high-scoring quarter for both sides.

"I thought everybody was involved and just did what we had to do," Gregg said. "The thing is these games gives you a lot of confidence, when you can win and play together like we did.

"We've learned a lot. When you lose as much as we have, you learn how to be patient. These kids have hung in there, they've stuck with it. So good to see them succeed just from  a coaching standpoint. We're growing every day. The fun part about building a program is you get to see it every single day. With all the young kids we have, it's a great feeling."

Dominic Ricci dropped 18 points to lead Commerce vs. Athens Academy. Creed Dunbar scored 28 points in the win over Prince Avenue. Ian McConnell scored 20 points to lead the team vs. Athens Christian. 

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