The Waldron Bulldogs stayed hot Tuesday, November 15 in their matchup up in Logan County as they spoiled the season opener for the Magazine Rattlers 65-42. Jumping out to a 13-0 lead behind a tremendous defensive effort, the Bulldogs saw their advantage as the first quarter ended with a score of 21-10. Ethan Mayberry scored eleven points in the first half, and fellow senior Trenton Hunt added ten as well. Up only eight points with around two minutes left in the opening half, Waldron used a 10-0 run to close out the half. The run was capitalized with three straight forced turnovers from the Dogs.
The 2nd half saw more of the same for Waldron as the trio of Lidge Stinson, Hunt, and Mayberry combined for ten steals that each led to fast break opportunities. Sophomore Roky Avila stepped out to add an exclamation point to the quarter with a three-point bucket of his own. Waldron improved their record to 3-0 on the young season with a defensive masterpiece. As a team, the Bulldogs forced 36 turnovers with 26 steals to go along with a pair of blocks. Trenton Hunt finished the night with 20 points, 4 assists, and 12 steals. The 12 steals ties a state record for steals in a game. Lidge Stinson added 12 points with a 6 of 11 shooting night, and Ethan Mayberry threw in 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 steals.
The Bulldogs ended their week by traveling to Mansfield to take on Tigers in the opening round of the inaugural FCA Turkey Week Shoot-Out. The classic format pitted the rival against each other in prime time on Friday night in front of a large crowd. Scoring was at a premium in the first quarter as Waldron held on to a 10 to 7 lead. The Dogs came out firing in the 2nd, with Trenton Hunt throwing in three triples to push the advantage to double digits going into half, 26-16. That lead quickly disappeared as Mansfield used an early ten to nothing run to tie things back up in the opening three minutes of the second half. Once the dust settled from the early Tiger’s run, senior Ethan Mayberry took over. Going on a personal six point run, Mayberry kept Mansfield from ever leading in the game.
The fourth quarter was all about the free throw line and the Bulldogs went 11 for 15 at the charity stripe in the final quarter of play. With only five points going into the fourth, Lidge Stinson led the way in crutch time as he scored twelve points to put the game out of reach for Mansfield, 55-47. Waldron showed their range on the night making seven three-pointers, and forced the Tigers into turning the ball over 31 times. When asked about his squad’s performance, Coach Atchley had this to say, “Gosh dog I can’t say enough about my dudes. They all worked their tails off every day and they don’t care who gets the credit as long as they get the W. Petey Justice and Forest Efurd did a ton of things that won’t show up on the stat sheet but they stepped up, especially on the defensive end, in a big big way. I appreciate Bulldog nation traveling up 71 to do their part in helping us fly the W!” Trenton Hunt finished with 19 points and 4 steals, Lidge Stinson added 17 points to go along with his 6 assists, and Ethan Mayberry scored 12 with 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Waldron’s second round opponent will be the Cedarville Pirates Monday at 4:00 back at Tiger Arena. Cedarville and Waldron have shared some battles over recent years , meeting up in back to back regional semi-finals the last two years. Let’s hope this game is also one to remember.