Dogs cold at line in opener

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Bulldogs could not turn experience into a win in Tuesday’s season opener against the Beaumont Kelly Bulldogs.
Nederland (0-1) struggled from the free throw line and had 12 turnovers in a 56-53 loss to Kelly (1-0). A final shot attempt at the buzzer for Nederland missed its mark.
Nederland fought back after trailing 45-37 heading into the fourth and outscored the visitors 16-11 in the game’s final eight minutes.
“You can’t win shooting 10 for 19 from the line,” Nederland coach Brian English said. “That was our Achilles’ heel last year. We are trying to adjust. We have a new point guard and he is trying to adjust. I think this is the right move and we will see as the year goes on.”
Darrell Jones is the new guard for the Bulldogs, and he finished with 10 points and three rebounds.
Jase Miguez led the Bulldogs with 18 points and five rebounds. Adrian Nelson added 13 points and Kevin Howard pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.
Kelly started the game hot from the floor, especially John Kraemer from behind the arc.
Kraemer knocked home his first five three-pointers in the game and collected 19 points. Fifteen of his points came in the first half.
Nederland trailed 12-10 late in the first period before Kraemer knocked down a trey and Cannon Broussard added a bucket to give the visiting Bulldogs a 17-10 lead. Broussard then beat the buzzer at the end of the first period as Kelly led 19-10 heading into the second.
The lead stayed at around eight points for Kelly through the second until late in the first half, when Tevin Baker hit back-to-back baskets. His four points gave Kelly a 35-28 cushion at the break.
“Kelly shot the ball well, especially in the first half,” English said. “We got ourself down. Give all the credit to them because they came out and beat us.”
Trailing 45-37 to start the fourth and 53-48 late, Nederland started to make its push behind a three from Josh Hebert.
The trey came with 2:02 on the clock and pulled the Bulldogs to within 53-51.
Kelly went 2 for 3 from the charity stripe the rest of the way and only gave up a bucket from Howard down the stretch to Nederland.
“We paid more attention to Kraemer in the second half,” English said. “We emphasized helping more on him. Overall, we have to do a better job. I don’t know why we had first-game jitters with all our experience, but we did.”
Nederland plays at the New Caney tournament starting this Thursday.

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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