by Coach Ryan Waters
The El Dorado Springs Bulldog boys brought a gym bag of confidence home from the Warsaw tournament where they defeated the #3 seed, Skyline Tigers, in a game that left mouths open in shock.
The 1st round of the Warsaw Tournament we faced the #2 seed, Warsaw Wildcats. They are much improved, even over their 15 win season last year. The Bulldogs were just no match for the Wildcats as we fell 83-40. Warsaw pressured the ball 94 feet and the Bulldogs really struggled with handling that pressure.
Robert Keith led the Bulldogs in scoring with 10, followed by Lyness with 8, Studer with six, Hedrick with four, Robertson with three and Owsley with two.
In the 2nd round of the Warsaw Tournament, the Bulldogs faced the #3 seed, Skyline Tigers. Skyline finished 21 and nine last year and returned three of their top four scorers. The Skyline JV team only lost two games all of last year, both games lost to Class 5 schools.
To say the Bulldogs had their hands full, would be an astounding understatement. Skyline jumped out to an early 12-point lead, but the Bulldogs refused to go away. They fought hard and never gave up. Closing the gap to just 8 points as time expired to end the 3rd quarter seemed like a victory in itself.
What happened next, would be the greatest moment in my short tenure here at El Dorado Springs. Big play after big play, the Bulldogs closed in on the lead, and with 3:21 left to go in the 4th quarter, the Bulldogs took the lead 64-62 for the first time in the game. With a minute left, and the score now tied at 66 the Bulldogs would stall out and play for a last-second shot.
Richard Lyness made a great pass to Heath Sutton on a back door cut for a layup the Bulldogs couldn’t resist and took the lead 68-66 with 28 seconds to go. Skyline missed a close range jumper on the ensuing possession and immediately fouled Heath Sutton who rebounded the miss. Heath made one of two free throws to put the Bulldogs ahead 69-66. With 8.8 seconds left to go Skyline fed their go to guy, Dylan Mountain, who scored a tough basket in the paint over an extended Colten Hedrick to cut the lead to 69-68. (Mountain would finish the game with a staggering 36 points.)
An inadvertent inbound to Colten Hedrick, lead to a quick foul from Skyline and gave the Bulldogs a chance to extend the lead. Hedrick made one of two from the line giving the Bulldogs a 70-68 lead with 7.6 seconds left in regulation. Skyline got the ball out on a sideline break and got a decent look for a deep three in the corner that just caught the front of the rim. Heath Sutton got a weak side rebound as time expired.
The Bulldogs knocked off the #3 seed, Skyline Tigers, and would move on to the Consolation Game. The entire gym was in shock!
The 3rd round against the #5 seed, Cole Camp, proved to be too big of a task for the Bulldogs Saturday night. Led by Cole Camp’s 6’5” All-Stater Tanner Oecrichs and 6’5” Koby Kneievel who finished the game with 29 points, the Bulldogs struggled to get any rebounds period. On top of a less than stellar shooting night (35% from two pt. range and 25% from three pt.) against Cole Camp's 2-3 zone, the Bulldogs fell 61 to 46.
Overall the Bulldogs are very happy with how they’ve started the season and how they played in the Warsaw Tournament. Six teams in this year's tournament on the boys side had won 15 or more games last year, and three teams won more than 20 games just a year ago. For the Bulldogs to have even been playing on Saturday for consolation shows the improvement taking place on this young squad. We are very excited moving forward of the capabilities of our team.
IN TRAFFIC – Alexa Schaaf leaves four Skyline Tigers watching the action as she takes the ball to the hoop.
UNDETERRED – A little Skyline Tiger traffic didn’t keep Kameron Schaaf from getting off a shot as #3 Rachel Bush and #21 Becky Jennings are ready to rebound if needed.