Bulldogs split with Panthers

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Pike County girls and boys basketball teams split their games against Georgiana in the first round of the Red Level basketball tournament Tuesday night.

The girls began play and won a defensive game against the Lady Panthers 28-25.

The two teams failed to put up a combined 10 points in the opening quarter but the Lady Bulldogs did just enough to come out on top.

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“They are naturally developing over time,” said Bulldogs head coach Todd Reynolds, “We are starting to understand the system a little bit better. They are making fewer mistakes. We had a solid game plan and they were able to get through all four quarters.”

The two teams battled through the first quarter and put up a combined 7 points as the Lady Bulldogs entered the second quarter with a 5-2 lead.

The two teams picked it up in the second quarter. The Bulldogs were able to hold and build upon their lead and entered the locker room at halftime with a 12-7 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs got the offense going in the third quarter and were able to gain a little bit of separation on the Panthers. Led by Precious Vaznaian and Shaquavia McKinney, the Bulldogs were able to make shots and carried a 21-12 lead into the game’s final quarter.

The Panthers were able to outscore the Bulldogs in the final frame 13-7, but the play in the third quarter was enough to secure the win for the Bulldogs.

Even with the holiday break, the Bulldogs were able to out play the rust factor and get the first win of the tournament.

“I gave them some time off to try and regroup,” Reynolds said. “We had a good practice (Monday) and we were able to execute our game plan.”

Vaznaian led the Bulldogs in scoring with 13 points while McKinney finished with 8 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bulldogs hope the momentum gained in the win will carry over into today’s game against the Class 6A Dothan Tigers.

“We got the monkey off our back,” Reynolds said. “Now we have three wins and we can use the rest of this tournament to try and get ready for area play.”

Dothan will be a tough task for the Bulldogs but it will also be a good learning tool for coach Reynolds as well.

“The main point is to go in there with the right mentality,” Reynolds said. “Things are going to be tougher. They are 6A so they are supposed to be the strong team. We need to come in with the right mindset and take one quarter at a time.

The boys struggled to matchup with the deep bench of the Panthers on Tuesday night and fell 78-65 to what coach Doug Holland called a fresh team.

The intensity was there for the Bulldogs but the transition game of the Panthers was too much for the Bulldogs and their limited bench.

“Our intensity wasn’t there,” Holland said. “I just though we turned the ball over too much. Deshon Cowling led the Bulldogs with 20 points while Kamari Jackson had 16.

The Lady Bulldogs matchup with Dothan is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon while the boys will play at noon against T.R. Miller or Andalusia.