Bulldog Spencer Green #11 hits for two of her 18 points as her teammates await any possible miss. Photo by Lou Martin

The Virgin Valley Bulldogs regained their touch from the free throw line Friday night, January 16 to defeat Desert Pines High School Jaguars 55-51 in the last minute of play. The Bulldogs went 9 of 11 in the fourth period, eight in a row coming down the stretch to ward off the Jaguars. Bulldog guard Spencer Green led the Dawgs with 18 points followed by running mate Emma Barnum with 11 points and Bernice Fiso with 12 points. Bulldog forward Brianna Todd added nine points, four coming on free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Leading the defense were Kourtney Metzger with numerous blocks and Barnum who shut down Jaguar Jordan Bailey in the waning moments of the game. Bailey had four three-balls and 24 points overall to lead Desert Pines.

Five Bulldogs collaborated for 12 points at the end of one period forcing a tie ball game at 12-12. The Jaguars roared to a 27-18 lead late in the second period behind the shooting of Bailey and the help of a poor shooting half for the Dawgs. The Dawgs managed only 7-19 shots from the line and turned the ball over 12 times. The Dawgs managed to cut the Jaguars lead to 28-23 at the break.

The third period was all Bulldogs as they outscored the Jaguars 19-10 behind eight points from Green and five each from Barnum and Fiso. Fouls started to add up for the Jaguars as they committed foul after foul. A big steal and lay-up from Barnum got the Dawgs rolling. Green hit a lay-up and free throw to give the Dawgs their first lead since early in the game at 35-33. The period ended with the Dawgs up 42-38.

The game was tied four times in the last period until Barnum hit two to tie the game at 49-49 with 1:35 minutes remaining in the game. Bulldog Brianna Todd coolly hit four straight free throws with only 40 seconds remaining as the Jaguars were forced to foul. Three Jaguars fouled out of the game. Barnum put the final nail in with two frees with two seconds remaining in the game. After a slow start the Dawgs finished with 19 of 34 free throw attempts.

“The Jaguars wanted a track meet which we got caught up in,” said Bulldog Coach Chimane Creer. “We couldn’t get the ball inside to our big gals which hurt us. The more we pushed up the court, the better we handled the ball. It was a great second half effort from our girls.”

The Bulldogs have a tough stretch of games as they travel for four out of five games. The Bulldogs will need to put good games together if they want to stay with league leading Boulder City on January 21. The Dawgs are at 5-1 in league play behind the Eagles’ 6-0 record. The Dawgs’ next home game will be against TECH on Friday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m.