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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Bulldogs Win First Round of Bill Frye Invitational

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

Heading into Christmas break the Bulldogs veered off course with back-to-back losses against Cedarville and Lavaca. This brought the Dogs recorded to 10-6 and 2-1 in conference play. Looking to get back on course, the Dogs would face the Vian Wolverines in the first round of the Bill Frye invitational sponsored by Today’s Bank.

The Dogs started off the game playing very sloppy. Coach Atchley substituted in two whole groups before allowing his starters to come back into the game. Thankfully, the Wolverines were sluggish too and the two teams only combined for 11 points in the 1st quarter. After getting the starters back onto the court the Dogs began to full-court press and create turnovers allowing Trenton Hunt to convert an and-one opportunity, and Ethan Mayberry to get another layup to fall to end the 1st quarter with the Dogs up 6-5.

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The offensive struggles continued in the 2nd quarter for the Dogs as they only scored 3 points. Upset again, Coach Atchley substituted in a whole new 5, but that group was not getting it done either. Vian was getting every offensive rebound and the Dogs could not buy a shot. The starters eventually got back in the game, and Hunt added a layup before the half to make the score 9-14 advantage Wolverines.

Coach Atchley must have given his squad a stern talking to during the break because after halftime it was all Dogs. The Dogs came out in a full-court press that was giving the Wolverines a fit. They could not get the ball past halfcourt and allowed the Dogs to go on a 9-0 run to put the Dogs up with a score of 18-14. “Fish” McConnell and Hunt did all the scoring during the run as McConnell converted two put-back layups and Hunt added an and-one and a floater. After a bucket by Vian, McConnell would bury a 3-pointer to put the Dogs up by 5. To end the quarter, the Dogs got easy baskets in transition from steals in their press defense. Camdon Holcomb, Chris Lopez, and Hunt were each able to add a layup to make the score 27-19 Dogs advantage. The duo of Hunt and McConnell brought the Dogs back into the lead as they combined for 14 points in the 3rd quarter.

To start the 4th quarter, Drew Owens knocked down a 3-point basket and allowed the Dogs to resume their pressure. Vian was still having problems getting the ball down the court as the Dogs were forcing turnovers left and right. After a layup by Hunt, the Dogs were up 34-23, but the Wolverines were not ready to give up yet. They went on a 6-0 run to get them within 5 with a score of 34-29. The Dogs would answer though as they would go on a 10-0 run to put the game away. The run included two-point baskets from Hunt, Mayberry, Holcomb, and McConnell. With Vian forced to foul, Lidge Stinson would make six free throws in a row to make the final score 50-34 Bulldogs victory.

Hunt led all scorers with 21 points and 5 rebounds. “Fish” McConnell added 10 points and Stinson had 6.

The Bulldogs will travel back to Tiger Stadium on Wednesday, December 28 to play the Pocola Indians at 4:00pm in the second round of the Bill Frye Invitational.

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