• 64°

Roaring start: Bulldogs jump out to an early lead on their way to a comfortable 61-26 win over Geneva County

The Pike County Bulldogs got off to a quick start and never looked back in a 61-26 win over Geneva County on Thursday night in Brundidge.

The Bulldogs never trailed on Thursday night in game one of back-to-back games.

“I felt like our intensity was there,” said head coach Doug Holland. “We came out and we talked about establishing man-to-man and pressuring the ball. I thought we did a good job at that tonight.”

Geneva County had trouble keeping up with the athletic Bulldogs.

“We talked about speeding the ball up,” Holland said. “We have been slow against the last few teams we played. We are just now starting to understand what we are doing on the floor.”

Elisha Green and Jahzarian Lampley led the way in scoring for the Bulldogs with 14, while Andres Burney finished with 11.

The win for the Bulldogs on Thursday improved their record on the season to 2-3. The Bulldogs have had a knack of starting games off slow early and it’s something that Holland wanted to see corrected immediately.

“Every game we have started slow in the first half before picking it up in the second half,” Holland said. “I have no idea why. I hope eventually we can pick it up and put together a game. That has been our Achilles heel.”

The slow starts by the Bulldogs have led to close losses so far this season to both Charles Henderson and Carroll.

“We have been there, we just haven’t been able to close them out,” Holland said.

The Bulldogs have had their fair share of tough games to begin the season with a pair of games against Carroll and one against the Trojans. Both teams are from Class 5A.

“A lot of people have been complaining about why we scheduled up with a lot of schools,” Holland said. “Sometimes you are a victim of your success – you have to play teams that can play.”

The Bulldogs are 1-1 against Carroll this season. Their other losses have come against Bullock County and Charles Henderson.

The Bulldogs have been experimenting with passing the ball more this season than they have in years past.

“Each year produces a different team,” Holland said. “This team doesn’t have the guards that we normally have. We are going to have to buy into moving the basketball and buy in on defense.”

Even though the Bulldogs may not have the guard play, they have two big men inside in Xavier Newson and Andres Burney.

“This is the first year since I have been here where we are able to play with two big guys,” Holland said. “It’s different. It helps knowing that you have guys that control the boards and not get easily pushed off the blocks.”

The Bulldogs will begin area play on January 5 against the defending area champions from Daleville. Holland expects a tight and competitive race to this year’s championship.

“It’s going to be tough,” Holland said. “Houston Academy is like third in the state. Daleville is going to be tough and providence is always going to play you well. It’s going to be an interesting area.”

The Bulldogs will return to the court this evening when they travel to Troy to take on the rival Charles Henderson Trojans.

“It’s always an emotional game there,” Holland said. “We have beaten them there, but last year we did not play well. We are looking for an intense game and I expect them to play hard.”