Coming into the new basketball season, Nick Hudson was Paul Dunbar's one proven scorer.
Where else would the Bulldogs get their points if they were to live up to their No.14 pre-season rating?
That question was answered, at least for one game, as Tod Lanter pumped in 26 points to lead host Dunbar past district rival Tates Creek 89-75 in Tuesday night's season opener.
Lanter, a 6-foot-2 senior who didn't get much playing time last year, hit six of 10 three-pointers.
"I've been doing a lot of shooting drills, and coach (Redd Hutchinson) gave me the green light," said Lanter, the son of former University of Kentucky player Bo Lanter.
Was Hutchinson surprised by Tod's shooting show?
"Not at all," he said. "He does it in practice every day.
"He just needs to be consistent, stay focused and do what we ask him to do in all facets of the game."
Dunbar did enough in all facets of the game to turn back a young and short-handed Tates Creek team making its debut under Wayne Breeden.
"I was really impressed with Dunbar. They really took the fight to us," Breeden said.
Hudson, a 5-11 senior who averaged 17 points last season, got the Bulldogs off to a fast start. He had 18 of his 21 points in the first half as Dunbar built a 47-28 lead.
"Nick Hudson showed his leadership and ability by almost taking over the game in the first half," Breeden said.
Tates Creek was without sophomore standout Ryan Fucci, who is sidelined with a high ankle sprain. That didn't keep the Commodores from making it interesting for a while in the second half.
Marcellus Barksdale, another sophomore star, had 16 points in the third quarter to help Tates Creek trim the deficit to eight points midway through the third quarter.
But Lanter twice hit rally-busting bombs and Dunbar regained the momentum.
"He pulled up and hit some threes right in our face," Breeden said.
And the Bulldogs pulled away again and led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Barksdale finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought he had an excellent game," Breeden said.
Justin Daugherty added 14 points and Andre Ingram had 10 for the Commodores.
"What we'll take away from this game is that we were down big, came back and tried to compete," Breeden said.
Hutchinson, meanwhile, saw good and bad in his team's performance.
"I thought our effort could've been a lot better," he said. "But I was pleased with the way my guys didn't panic when Tates Creek made its runs at us.
"This was a good test for us. It showed where we are, which is a long way from where we want to be."
TATES CREEK (75) — Hagan 2-8 3-3 7, Barksdale 11-26 6-6 29, Cuyler 3-8 0-0 6, Garner 1-2 0-0 2, Mack 0-2 0-1 0, Daugherty 7-10 0-0 14, Ingram 4-8 2-2 10, Potter 2-2 0-0 4, Bradley 0-1 0-0 0, McMackin 0-0 3-3 3. 30-67 14-15 75.
PAUL DUNBAR (89) — Hudson 6-11 5-8 21, Lanter 9-15 2-2 26, Morton 4-11 1-4 9, Waldrop 1-5 0-0 2, With 2-3 0-0 4, Rogers 4-8 0-0 8, Clay 4-7 2-2 11, Hendren 2-4 0-0 4, Johnson 2-4 0-0 4, Adu-Peasah 0-1 0-0 0. 34-69 10-18 89.
Tates Creek 14 15 25 21—75
Paul Dunbar 26 21 24 18—89
Records—Tates Creek 0-1; Paul Dunbar 1-0