EL DORADO SPRINGS SUN, THURSDAY, february 6, 2014 PAGE 9
What an exciting week for Bulldog basketball. The boys basketball team had their work cut out for them as the odds were definitely stacked in our opposition’s favor.
The first obstacle in our Bulldogs’ way has been our inability to play well at home. Over the course of the last two seasons, the Bulldogs have not been able to pull out a win at home. The Bulldogs finished out the 11-12 season with two losses at home, went 0-10 last season, and already were 0-2 this season. That is 14 straight losses at home. On top of that, the losses endured over the last three seasons, averaged a shade over 28 points per game. As if that weren’t enough, the Rich Hill Tigers came into our gym on Tuesday with a record of 10-1 and on a seven game winning streak. Talk about a regular season Cinderella story in the making.
The crowd was amazing and the stands were packed. The gym was loud and rocking like a great high school basketball game should be. Tuesday was a three game night for the varsity girls, JV boys and varsity boys.
The varsity girls played a make-up game with Clever and handled business as usual. The JV boys were up next and won by 21 improving their record to 8-3 on the season. The varsity boys' game was the finale to the evening, and the boys wanted nothing more than to give our crowd that much needed third win Tuesday night.
The much improved Bulldogs played a back and forth game all night. After the first quarter the score was 17-14 Tigers. After some defensive adjustments in the 2nd quarter the Bulldogs went into halftime up 27-24. The 3rd quarter was all Rich Hill who outscored the Bulldogs 15 to nine and took a 39-36 lead.
The 4th quarter came down to the wire and the Bulldogs had to fight tooth and nail for every bucket they got down the stretch. After six lead changes, and some free throws at the end to ice the game, the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers in the 4th 22 to 12, and won their first home game in two years, 56 to 52. The Bulldogs would improve to seven wins and eight losses on the season and the Tigers would move to 10 and two.
Things didn’t get much easier Friday night against the Jasper Eagles. The Eagles came into our house with an 8-4 record, and on a four game winning streak. The pressure was on the Bulldogs to perform well with courtwarming that night, and especially after Tuesday night’s win over the Rich Hill Tigers.
JV set the tone with a 23-point victory improving their record to nine and three on the season with a convincing 63-41 win. Spencer Young led all scorers with 13. Jake Hillsman and Brant Jones both had 11. Lance Molz chipped in eight, Cody McNeece and Ethan Morgan both had five. Landen Smith and Jayson Owsley had four a piece. Riley Boyd had two.
Despite the fact that the Varsity Jasper Eagles beat up on the Bulldogs last season by 31 points during their courtwarming night, the Bulldogs came in fired up and undeterred. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 15 to 14 first quarter lead. The Bulldogs continued the rally, outscoring the Eagles 13 to nine in the second quarter, taking a 28 to 23 halftime lead.
The third quarter proved to be the difference in the game as the Bulldogs outscored the Eagles 19 to 10, and took a 47 to 33 lead as time expired.
The fourth quarter was not only a shootout but one of the best offensive performances from a team in recent memory. The Tigers managed to hit six three pointers in the quarter alone and scored 30 points to finish out the contest. They did that, despite the fact they only had 33 points in three quarters prior to that offensive explosion. Would the Bulldogs offense be enough to withstand that kind of output? It sure was. Even though Jasper cut the lead to three with the ball, the Bulldogs were able to hit one shot after another to maintain the lead. The Bulldog finished with 25 points in the quarter themselves and won the game 72 to 63, in dramatic fashion. The Bulldogs improve their record to 8-8 on the season and have already doubled their win total from last year with eight games left to play.