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Bridgeport Falls to Buckeye Trail

Photo Seth Staskey Bridgeport’s Quinton Burlenski drives to the basket against Buckeye Trail’s Franko Rome during the first half of Monday’s game.

BRIDGEPORT — Consistency has been the word of the season for the Bridgeport’s boys team.

Whether it’s in practice or in games, head coach Donnie Cash has been seeking it from his team on the nightly.

Unfortunately, that consistency simply wasn’t there on Monday night and it cost the Bulldogs, who dropped a 62-48 decision to Buckeye Trail.

“We didn’t play very well and Buckeye Trail had a lot to do with that,” Cash said. “Their size hurt us. They out hustled us, played very good defense and we didn’t shoot it well. We weren’t able to create any offense. Give them all of the credit.”

It was a drastic difference from the last time out for the Bulldogs, who completed the season sweep of Shadyside on Saturday.

“We definitely didn’t play like this (at Shadyside),” Cash said. “We have to be more consistent from here on out. I don’t know if it was a letdown, but we’ve been inconsistent from game to game at times this season, and that’s something we have to fix.”

The game was relatively back-and-forth until the third quarter.

Trail led by one, 16-15, after one and upped it to three, 31-28 at the half.

However, in the third, the Warriors got on a run. They didn’t allow Bridgeport point until there was 3:40 to go in the third. Meanwhile, Garrett Burga, on the interior, and Franko Rome, on the perimeter, continued to give Bridgeport fits.

Burga length and size was an issue all night long. He finished with 22 points and collected 15 rebounds. Rome, meanwhile, added 15 points.

In the third quarter alone, Burga had 10 of those points.

“We’re trying to find some rhythm like every other team, but with our youth, we really need those reps,” Trail coach Drew Meister said. “Finally, for the first time, we dressed the 14 guys we expected (with the varsity). We had some different guys give us a spark, but our rebounding tenacity was the difference.”

Indeed.

Many of Burga’s boards came on the offensive end, which resulted in many of his points being of the second-chance variety.

All told, in the third quarter, the Warriors outscored the Bulldogs, 17-6 to blow the game open.

“We didn’t put four good quarters together,” Cash said. “We talked (at halftime) about starting fast in that third quarter and we didn’t do that. We have a quick turnaround and we need to try to get back on the winning side.”

While Burga and Rome’s production paced the winners, Trail’s defense was exceptional on Bridgeport leading scorer Reese O’Kernik, who was limited to just two field goals and seven total points.

Dylan Gregorcic got free to a tune of 27 points, including six bonus goals.

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