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Bruins clip Dogs; PN-G nearly stuns HCYA

NEDERLAND — Brennan Doty was bumped more than once while driving the lane as time dwindled down on Port Neches-Groves’ attempted upset of HCYA on Thursday afternoon in the loser’s bracket side of the Bulldog Classic basketball tournament. Doty was not rewarded a foul and lost control before he could get a shot off. The Warriors corralled the loose ball to put a 62-60 victory on ice.

   With the loss, PN-G drops to 2-7 on the season but head coach Pat Abel took solace in the outstanding performance his team gave in hanging with a much deeper and taller opponent.

   Midway through the third quarter, the Tribe made a 11-2 run to bring their deficit to 50-49. Just before that frame ended, however, HCYA burned PN-G with five crucial unanswered points to extend their lead to 55-49.

   The Indians outscored the Warriors 11-7 in the final period but it wasn’t enough. Neither was Doty’s team-high 26 points. He had the game’s final four points but his Indians needed two more to tie the contest. HCYA was led by freshman Justin Jackson’s 27 points.

  “We aren’t big into moral victories but I like the way we responded from yesterday,” said Abel about a 69-48 loss to Baytown Sterling. “We answered all their runs and that’s something we talked about doing. The effort was great. (HCYA) is a long and rangy team and just happened to be two points better than we were. Hopefully, this will be a turning point for us, something we can build on.”

   There were certainly no moral victories in Nederland’s ho-hum, 51-45 loss to West Brook earlier on Friday. The loss sunk the Bulldogs record to 8-3 and sent them straight to the consolation side of the bracket. Nederland will need to beat West Orange-Stark for a second time in this tournament in order to reach the consolation finals where it would face either Christian Life or HCYA.

  PN-G, meanwhile, will square off with Fort Worth Brewer, who was spanked by WO-S in a 57-33 decision.

  The Bulldogs led after the first three quarters but never showed a sense of urgency, even when holding onto a 29-26 edge by the end of the third.

  West Brook’s Chris Haynes hit one from downtown to give his team a 39-37 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. Jacob Pitts sank a pair of free throws with 21.5 seconds remaining in the contest, narrowing the difference to 48-45, but that was as close as Nederland would get.

  The Bulldogs got a turnover when still trailing by three but Mike Mitchell missed the Dogs last meaningful shot of the game. The Bruins closed it out with three free throws.

  Zach English and Kelvin Smith were the only Bulldogs to reach double figures in scoring. Both players finished with 13. Steady contributor Chris Cunningham and Mike Mitchell combined for a lousy 2-of-16 from the floor. Nederland made just 10 field goals in the contest.

   Meanwhile, despite a late scare from a surging Christian Life squad, Galveston Ball continued dominating the winner’s bracket. The Tornadoes pushed through Christian Life with an 86-80 decision and then hammered Sterling 82-60 to advance to the championship game where they will square off with Silsbee. Silsbee knocked off West Brook 65-55.

Bulldog Classic

Friday’s scores

Galveston Ball 86, Christian Life 80

West Brook 51, Nederland 45

West Orange-Stark 57, FW Brewer 33

HCYA 62, PN-G 60

Galveston Ball 82, Baytown Sterling 60

Silsbee 65, West Brook 55

Saturday’s pairings

11 a.m., Nederland vs. WO-S

12:30 p.m., HCYA vs. Christian Life

2 p.m., PN-G vs. Brewer

3:30 p.m., losers of first two games

Consolation

5 p.m., winners of first two games

Third place

6:30 p.m., West Brook vs. Sterling

Championship

8 p.m., Galveston Ball vs. Silsbee