Key area win: The Pike County Bulldogs struggle early but pull away late in area win over Abbeville
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016
A second quarter, 13-0 run helped the Pike County beat the Abbeville Yellow Jackets 56-47 on Tuesday.
“I knew it was going to be an intense game,” said Bulldogs head coach Fred Holland. “In our area there isn’t much difference between the teams. Everybody knows each other. It’s about going out there and matching everybody’s intensity every night.”
The Bulldogs have been prone to slow starts all season, and they fell behind by points in the first quarter thanks to missed shots and turnovers.
“I still thought we were average,” Holland said. “Deshon (Cowling) got into foul trouble but we were able to close things out in the second half.”
As soon as the game moved into the second quarter the Bulldogs settled down. Abbeville stretched the lead to 23-14 before the Bulldogs went on a 13-0 run taking a 27-23 lead into the half.
“That was crucial,” Holland said. “We were very stagnant on the floor and they did a great job at doing what they do in trapping us. That was the turning point in the game when we battled back and took the lead.”
The Bulldogs carried over their momentum into the third quarter and outscored the Yellow Jackets 17-7, including an 11-point run that benefited from costly Yellow Jacket turnovers. The full court press kept Abbeville on their heels much of the quarter.
“That is something we have talked about all year,” Holland said. “We needed our defense to be our offense. This we had some games where we were inconsistent but we have started to turn it around.”
The Bulldogs took a 44-33 lead into the fourth before the Yellow Jackets went on a 9-0 run to bring them to within four points.
Cowling led the way for the Bulldogs with 18 points and when things got tough for the Bulldogs, he leadership proved critical.
“He is going to play hard every night,” Holland said. “Any shot is never a bad shot for him. I was proud of him. He is such a competitor.”
With the win the Bulldogs improve their record on the season to 10-6 and 4-1 within the area.