The Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs basketball team had their hands full Thursday night, Feb. 11 against a scrappy Boulder City High School Eagles basketball team before putting them away late to win 56-46. The win gave the Dawgs a 9-5 record in Sunrise League good enough for third place.
The win sets up a first round game Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Faith Lutheran. The Crusaders defeated the Dawgs in the first game of the 2015-2016 season, 76-58. The Crusaders finished second in Sunset League play with a 10-3 record. They feature a big front line of two 6’7” players which gave the Dawgs a matchup problem first time around.
The Bulldogs started five seniors for “Senior Night” Thursday in their win over the Eagles. The Dawgs started slow with only seven points in the first quarter. The Eagles came out firing, hitting three balls on their first three shots to take a 9-3 lead. Bulldog Andrew Memmott finished the period with four straight points to cut the Crusaders lead to 10-7 after one period. Bulldog leading scorer Zach Barnum had to sit with three quick fouls halfway through the period.
The Bulldog offense found a little rhythm to begin the second period with Hogan Fowles leading the way with eight points to put the Dawgs on top 19-17. Memmot added a big three ball and finished the period with seven straight points upping the Dawgs lead to 24-19 at the break. Fowles and Memmott had 11 points each to lead the Dawgs in the first half of play.
The Bulldogs offense disappeared in the third quarter as the Eagles went on a 14-6 run to take a 33-30 lead before Memmott hit another three ball to tie the game 33-33 after three periods. The Eagles hit their seventh three point shot of the game to take their last lead 38-37.
Bulldog reserve Nick Cox entered the game replacing Barnum who fouled out and proceeded to hit six straight points giving the Dawgs a 44-38 advantage. Cody Jones and Fowles hit shots giving the Dawgs a 48-40 lead with less than three minutes remaining. The Eagles surprised the Dawgs with intentional fouls putting the Dawgs on the line. The Dawgs missed three straight one and one free throws giving the Eagles hope as they cut the lead to 48-44. The Dawgs finished with 8-12 from the line to secure the win.
Memmott led all scorers with 18 points followed by Fowles with 17 points and Jones with a huge game, eight points and 12 rebounds. “We did what we had to do. A win is a win,” said an exhausted Bulldog coach Sean FitzSimons. “We weren’t mentally prepared to play. We did not execute well and got into foul trouble.”