Dublin (3-1) gave Eastland all it could handle Tuesday night at Roy and Lynn Neff Gym, but in the end it was 6-foot, 9-inch center Forrest Robinson's defense, not his usually stellar offense, that made the difference.
Robinson and Eastland, a regional finalist last season, held Dublin post standouts Jakob Damstra and Jonathan Pringle to a combined 15 points as the Mavericks held off the Lions 55-45.
Robinson was good on the offensive end, but didn't light up the scoreboard the way the Mavericks have grown accustomed to him doing. He finished with 17 points and didn't hit a single 3-point field goal.
"I thought we played pretty well defensively," Dublin head coach Richard Pringle said. "Their big kid likes to start inside and then float outside and shoot from out there, but we didn't let him any good looks there. I told our kids if we held him to under 20 points we would have a chance to win, and we did that."
But Dublin struggled on the offensive end, where the Lions were limited inside and went just 2-14 from outside the arc.
"In practice we make one (3-point basket) after another," Pringle said. "In games, I don't know what it is, but we'll figure it out. Sometimes I think it's shot selection, but last night we had a lot of good open looks, we just couldn't hit them."
Dublin had a pair of scorers reach double figures as Hunter Turner tallied 17 and Aaron Callaway added 16.
"We've had a good scoring ratio inside-to-outside, but last night was tough against (Robinson)," Pringle said.
"We showed a lot of heart and a lot of improvement," he added. "I think in the next couple weeks with more games and some tournaments coming up we can start to turn the corner."
Pringle says with a home game against Goldthwaite Tuesday followed by the annual Dublin Dr Pepper Tournament the following weekend and Hico's tourney a week later, the Lions could play as many as 12 games the next two weeks.
"The more games we get under our belt the better off we'll be," he said.