By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

 CROCKETT – At the start of the fourth quarter on Tuesday, Jan. 17 the Crockett Bulldogs were staring up at a 20 point deficit to the Hempstead Bobcats.

The Bobcats pushed their lead out to 24 within the first minute of the final period of play and a few of the Crockett fans began to head towards the exits of the Andrew J. Hopkins Activity Center.

The Dawgs, however, hadn’t given up. By the time the clock showed 5:27, Crockett had cut the lead to 14 and trailed 66-52. Less than a minute later, the Dawgs had cut the margin to 10. At the 2:29 mark, the deficit was only six as the scoreboard read 70-64.

After B.J. Anderson sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a pair of free throws from the Bobcats, Crockett trailed 72-70 with 1:37 remaining. Unfortunately for the home team, that was as close as they would get as Hempstead managed to hold off the Dawgs for a 79-72 win.

The game started off in an unusual manner as Anderson went to the free throw line for a pair of free throws after the Bobcats had been called for a technical foul before the tip-off. Anderson knocked down both shots from the charity stripe to go along with a 3-ball for five points in the first eight minutes of play. Tyrese Anderson and Derrick Sherman added four apiece as both Allen Horace and Harvey Stewart powered in two from the paint.

The Bobcats’ first quarter scoring was paced by Ahmad Banks with 10 while Michael Mayes netted four. La Marcus Momon and Fred Thomas both scored two for Hempstead as the Bobcats took an 18-17 lead after the first quarter.

As the second quarter of play began, the woofing on the court began to heat up. Crockett’s Lucky Daniels appeared to get under the skin of Hempstead’s Ko’Dirrus Boulds which resulted in an intentional foul on Daniels from Boulds. It also resulted in Boulds’ being benched for the remainder of the half with three fouls.

Meanwhile, Daniels scored 10 in the quarter while Stewart scored three. Sherman and Marcus Smith both converted one of two from the line to account for the Dawgs’ second period point production.

Aside from Boulds’ thuggish style of play, Hempstead remained consistent. The Bobcats dropped in another 18 points in the second quarter and led by a score of 36-32 as the halftime buzzer sounded. Troy Gails went for eight in the second and was joined in the scoring column by Banks with five, Mayes with four and Thomas with one.

Apparently, riding the pine in the first half settled Boulds down. After the break, he nailed four 3-pointers, along with a pair of free throws. Thomas added five, Mays had four, Banks had two and Momon converted one of two from the line to round out the Bobcat scoring in the third.

While the Bobcats’ heated up from the floor, the Dawgs cooled down and only put up 10 in the quarter. Horace scored four from inside while B.J. Anderson knocked down a three. Stewart worked his way inside for two and A.J. Owens made one of two from the line to make the score 62-42 after three quarters.

With eight minutes remaining, the Dawgs turned to a hack-a-cat strategy and sent Hempstead to the line 12 times. The strategy seemed to work as everyone – other than Boulds – missed from the charity stripe. Boulds converted seven of eight attempts while Banks scored two but missed all three of his free throws. Thomas also scored two but missed his one attempt from the line. Gails, Mays and Jaylon Thomas all connected for two to round out the Bobcats’ scoring.

B.J. Anderson and Sherman both scored eight for Crockett as the Dawgs mounted a furious comeback attempt. Daniels, Horace and Stewart all added four while T. Anderson chipped in two but it was too little, too late as the Dawgs fell by a final score of 79-72.

The Wildcats were led in scoring by Ko’Dirrus Boulds with 21 and Ahmad Banks with 19 points. Michael Mayes dropped in 14 while both Troy Gails and Fred Thomas had 10. Lamarcus Momon had three while Jaylon Thomas chipped in two for the Bobcats.

The Bulldogs were led in scoring by B.J. Anderson with 16 and Lucky Daniels with 14 points. Derrick Sherman poured in 13, Harvey Stewart dropped in 11 and Allen Horace scored 11. Tyrese Anderson added six and both A.J. Owens as well as Marcus Smith scored one.

 Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.