Dragons Cruise By Bulldogs
BRIDGEPORT — Cameron returned to the win column Friday evening, dispatching of homestanding Bridgeport by a 67-45 count on Frank Baxter Court inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.
The Dragons pulled back above the .500 mark, upping their record to 5-4, with all four losses coming against state-ranked teams. The Bulldogs fell to 0-12.
The host Bulldogs played the Dragons tough throughout the first half, especially the second quarter, but ultimately the third quarter was what proved decisive in a loss.
“Halftime we told them that we missed a ton of first-quarter layups and inside shots, and then (Bridgeport coach) Donnie (Cash)’s crew was playing tough. We tried to tell them that they were going to play scrappy and hard for four quarters, and they did that,” Cameron coach Tom Hart said. “They got it back within three at halftime and we told them that we can’t do anything about the missed shots in the first half, but we have to come back out, lock down on defense and execute better on offense.
“We got some turnovers and some pretty good looks and we were sharing the ball pretty well in the third quarter. We found a good five on the floor that was working together, and they really picked it up for us.”
Cash has seen this play out way too often this season.
“Turnovers and we didn’t score. That’s been the same old song for us all year long,” Cash said. “It’s been our cancer and we keep doing it and doing it and not learning from it. Teams build a lead. We’ve been in games, I wouldn’t say we’ve been in every game, but over half probably. We play bad in spurts and teams extend their leads against us and we have trouble putting the ball in the basket and we have trouble coming back in those games.”
Cameron took the opening tip and scored the game’s first seven points, holding the hosts scoreless for 4:17 before Cooper Dulesky netted the Bulldogs’ initial bucket. Bridgeport was victimized by eight first-quarter turnovers, as well as a balanced scoring attack by the Dragons buoyed by a pair of threes by Noah Neely. Cameron led 18-7 after one.
The second quarter, was a completely different story.
The Bulldogs came out hot, running off a 9-0 streak before Zane Clutter finally stopped the bleeding with a basket at the 4:14 mark after Cameron grabbed four offensive boards on the sequence. The visitors looked to be pulling away again before Bridgeport woke back up, taking advantage of a couple of bonus buckets by Dylan Gregorcic to close the gap to a 27-24 showing for Cameron at the half.
It was a pair of sequences in the third that doomed the hosts. Cameron was able to force a trio of Bulldogs turnovers and get a number of baskets from Jessop Broughton and Garrett Scott during a 13-6 run to push their lead to 40-30. Later in the quarter, Cole Burkett snagged a pair of midcourt steals that resulted in easy layups to stake the Dragons to a 46-32 advantage and force a Bulldogs timeout.
The Marshall County squad never looked back from there, holding the hosts to one third quarter field goal and holding onto a 50-32 lead after three.
While both teams played evenly in the fourth, a quarter won by the visitors 17-13, Bridgeport never threatened as each team liberally subbed during the period resulting in the 67-45 final.
Broughton led the way for the Dragons, scoring 20 points with Cole Burkett adding 10 points, six rebounds and a trio of steals. Garrett Scott also netted 10, while collecting a half a dozen boards and five assists.
Bridgeport was led by Gregorcic with 16. Dulesky finished with nine, including a sparkling 7 of 8 from the free throw line, and Mikey Shaheen scored eight to go with seven boards. The Dragons had the edge on the glass 37-26 and were guilty of 10 turnovers compared to 22 miscues for the hosts.