The Virgin Valley High School Bulldog boy basketball team’s hot start faded in the second half of play as the Crusaders from Faith Lutheran High School outscored the Dawgs 32-13. The Crusaders’ tall front line, featuring 6’7” John Mulchon and two teammates at 6’6”, wore down the smaller scrappy Dawgs after the break. The Dawgs’ quickness negated the Crusaders’ height advantage in the first period as the Bulldogs broke the press and scored underneath. Dawg Keegan Biasi hit for ten points in the first quarter to give the Dawgs an 18-15 lead. Forward Marcus Saunders added 5 points and showed his quickness to the basket.
Turnovers by the Dawgs and a strong defense gave the Crusaders the lead 23-18 lead after three and a half minutes of play in the second period. A quick timeout by Bulldog coach Sean FitzSimons seemed to energize the young Bulldogs as they regained the lead 29-28 with a minute little over a minute left in the first half. The halftime score found the Dawgs trailing 30-29. Biasi led the Dawgs with 12 points in the half. Fifteen turnovers by the Dawgs and the strong board play by the Crusaders’ front line kept the game close.
The second half was all Crusaders as Mulchon swept the boards and guard Blake Bell gave the Faith Lutheran squad a 44-34 lead after three quarters of play. The Bulldogs did not help their cause by missing shots in the paint. Saunders had four points to lead the Dawgs.
The Crusaders increased their lead 62-37 before the Dawgs scored the last five points of the game making the final score 62-42. “We played well in the first half but we’re not in shape yet,” said Bulldog Coach FitzSimons. “We need to minimize our mistakes and no doubt we needed Cody (Burnside).” Burnside, the Bulldogs 6’5” center, was ineligible to play due to lack of practice days. “Biasi played well in the first half totaling 12 points and ten rebounds for the game. We got beat up pretty bad underneath,” added FitzSimons. Saunders had 11 points and sophomore guard Jarrett Tietjen added nine to lead the Dawgs.
The Dawgs will begin play Thursday at the Legacy Tip-Off Classic in Las Vegas against a strong Clovis East team out of Fresno, California. The Timberwolves won last year’s game 64-44. The Timberwolves are 1-0 so far this season defeating McLane High School 81-40 in their first game.