Bulldogs Outlast Lions
By Will Johnson
TEAGUE – This is the way all district finales should be as two teams battle each other down to the wire to see who brings home the title. Such was the case Tuesday night as the Crockett Bulldogs traveled to Teague to take on the Lions for the district championship and the postseason number one seed out of District 20-3A.
Both teams came into the game with 10-1 records with the Bulldogs only loss coming to the Buffalo Bison in their first district game. Teague’s only loss came at the hands of the Bulldogs in mid-January.
As the game got underway, the two teams seemed nervous and their play on the court showed it with numerous turnovers and poor shooting from the field. Throughout the quarter, the lead changed hands several times, with Crockett finally taking a 16-13 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
Allen Horace led the Bulldogs with six points while both AJ Owens and Ty White had five apiece.
The Lions’ first quarter scoring came from Keshawn Rice with seven while Mychal Shed had five and Ty Abram dropped in two.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs ran into a little foul trouble and as a result, their offensive production dropped off. Horace and JaLyne
Carruthers put in four points apiece while both White and Teddy Jones converted a pair of free throws as Crockett found themselves staring up at a 33-28 deficit when the horn blew for halftime.
Meanwhile, Teague took advantage of Crockett’s foul trouble and shooting woes to put up 20 in the quarter. Rice paved the way with 11 points while Gelico Green added three. Three other Lions – Shed, Ty Abram and Kaigen Pillette – all had two as the Lions took a five-point lead into the half.
The third quarter saw the Bulldogs come out of the locker room and cut the Teague lead to one. The Lions held the lead for a span of three-minutes before they were able to push it back to five.
At that point, however, the Crockett defense stepped up to shut down the Teague offense and held the Lions to six total points in the period .
Shed hit a three-pointer while Rodney Kuykendall added three of his own as the lead pivoted back to the Bulldogs.
Crockett took advantage of the Lions’ offensive issues and doubled up the Teague third quarter scoring to take a 40-39 lead into the fourth quarter. Horace and Owens both had five in the third while Jones added a basket of his own.
With eight minutes left to play, it seemed to come down to who wanted it more. Crockett would start to pull away and then Teague would reel them back in. At the 3:16 mark, the Bulldogs led 50-48. Just over a minute later, the score was tied at 52-52.
A power move by Horace gave the Bulldogs a 54-52 lead and then Jordan Bedford added his only two points of the game, to expand the lead to four with 27 seconds left.
From there, Teague was forced to foul in an attempt to get back in the game. The strategy failed, however, as th
e Lions they picked the wrong guy to send to the line as White calmly knocked down five of six from the charity stripe to help give the Bulldogs the 61-57 win and the District 20-3A Championship.
In the fourth quarter, White poured in 10 while Horace bulled his way inside for nine to go along with Bedford’s two.
The Lions’ fourth quarter points came from Pillete with seven while both Kuykendall and Shed had four apiece. Rice added a three-pointer to round out the Teague point production.
On the game, Teague was led in scoring by Keshawn Rice with 21 points. Mychal Shed dropped in 13, Kaigen Pillette had nine and Rodney Kuykendall went for seven. Ty Abram added four and Gelico Green had three to close out the Lions’ scoring.
Allen Horace led the Bulldogs with 24 points while Ty White added 17. AJ Owens had 10 while Jalyne Carruthers and Teddy Jones both had four. Jordan Bedford also had two in the game.
The win gives Crockett the number one seed out of District 20-3A while Teague settles for the second seed. The Bulldogs will play the fourth seed out of District 19-3A while the Lions will play the number three seed from the same district.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.