Bulldog guard Zach Barnum saved his best for last hitting a big three late in Friday’s game to give the Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs the win 50-45 over a scrappy Kanab High School (Utah) squad in the Dawgs opening game in the Bulldogs Invitational Tournament. Barnum finished the game with his highest point total of the season. Teammate Marcus Saunders led all scorers with 19 points.
Barnum hit the game’s first bucket and teammates Saunders and Cody Burnside scored the remaining twelve points to give the Dawgs a 14-12 lead at the end of one period.
It took the Bulldogs three minutes to put their first second quarter points on the board. The Cowboys managed six points to take a 18-17 lead. Bulldog Saunders would lead the Dawgs back hitting 5 points to give the Dawgs a 26-22 lead at the break.
The third period was futile for both teams as they missed numerous opportunities. The Cowboys cut the Dawgs lead to 34-30 after three periods. Barnum had four points for the Dawgs.
The Bulldogs went over 8 minutes between the end of the third period and opening minutes of the final without a point. Meanwhile the Cowboys hit for 11 straight points behind two long bombs to take a 41-34 lead with a little over four minutes remaining in the game. Four points by Saunders cut the Cowboys lead to 42-39 before another long three from the Cowboys stopped the Bulldogs rally. Bulldog Reserve Cody Jones stepped up with a steal and two buckets setting up Barnum’s huge shot from the right side. Keegan Biasi finished the Cowboys off with a big rebound and put back to end the scoring. “We started to believe in ourselves late in the game,” said Bulldog Coach Sean FitzSimons. “We need to trust the system and ourselves. Our press worked and we normally make more threes. Our offensive attack was not working so I told the boys they need to step it up and they responded. We are a young team and coming back after 11 straight points was big.”
The Dawgs will have their hands full Saturday morning against Division 1 Bonanza High School. The Bengals are big and feature two great shooters in Jamal Logan and DaVonta Price who scored 26 points apiece in their 77-71 win over Mojave in a late game. Todays game begins at 11:30am.