Late surge lifts Bulldogs over Eagles 53-35

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Bulldog center Cody Burnside #41 hits two of his game high 14 points to lead the Dawgs over Boulder City Thursday night in the Dawg House. Burnside added 10 boards and three blocks for his nights work. Photo by Lou Martin

The Virgin Valley High School Bulldog men could not put the Eagles from Boulder City away last Thursday night in the final league game of the 2014-2015 basketball season as the Eagles battled the Dawgs evenly early into the fourth period before the Dawgs hit 9 of 11 from the free throw line to pull away 53-35. Bulldog center Cody Burnside led nine Bulldogs in the scorebook with 14 points, 10 boards and three huge blocks. Marcus Saunders added 10 points and Andrew Memmott had 6 points off the bench.

Memmott gave the Dawgs a late spark in the first period with 4 points off the bench, the last two as the period ended to give the Dawgs a 12-8 lead. Zach Barnum made the pass of the night hitting a cutting Saunders on a sweet pass for two points. The tenacious Bulldog defense shut down the Eagles in the second period allowing only five points to increase their lead to 21-13 at the break. Numerous turnovers hampered the offense output of both teams in the first half. Memmott again hit a buzzer beater to end the period.

The teams battled evenly in the third period as the Dawgs held the lead 31-23 after three quarters of play. The fourth quarter was all Dawgs as they scored 22 points to the Eagles’ 12 points. Burnside led seven Dawgs scorers with six points. The Eagles’ aggressive play put the Dawgs on the line 25 times during the game which made the difference as the Dawgs hit 20 shots. “We knew the Eagles had nothing to lose, as they were eliminated early in the week from the playoffs, and would come out and attack us,” said Bulldog coach Sean FitzSimons. “We came out sluggish in the first period after our big win over Desert Pines on Tuesday, but our defense came to the rescue again.”

The win gave the Dawgs a 9-5 1-A Sunrise League record, good enough for another playoff spot, and a 13-12 season record. FitzSimons has taken the Dawgs to the playoffs three straight years. This year’s total was done without one returning starter from last year’s team. The Dawgs will travel to Sunset League winner Clark High School on Tuesday, February 17. The Chargers went 13-1 in league play and are the favorites with Desert Pines to take the crown.

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