Bulldogs pull off win over Warriors

Stephanie King

In the second part of a PAC-7 varsity basketball doubleheader, the Wheatmore Warrior boys took on the Trinity Bulldogs on Tuesday. The Warriors entered the game 3-2, while Trinity was 4-3.

The Warriors opened the game with five quick points including a deep three from senior Jake Tuggle. Richie Linville knocked down a pair at the line for the Bulldogs’ first points of the night. A three from Ben Walker pushed the Warriors’ lead to six, but the Bulldogs answered with putback bucket from Josh Reddick and a three from Ben Owens to cut the lead to one. Austin Biggs and Gavin Dennis scored back to back buckets for a 12-7 lead for the Warriors. Owens drilled a fadeaway three at the buzzer to trim the lead to two at the end of the quarter. After one-quarter of play, Wheatmore led 12-10.

Bryce Griffin opened the second quarter with a free throw for the Warriors before Owens knocked down a jumper to cut the lead back to one. The teams traded buckets to leave the lead at one, but Zach Berrier scored back to back buckets for the Warriors. Chris Essick pulled the Bulldogs back within three with a pair of free throws midway through the quarter. Dennis muscled his way to the hoop and scored for the Warriors to give them a 21-16 lead. A pull-up three from Essick got the Bulldogs back within three before a bucket from Berrier and three points the old-fashion way from Dennis extended the lead to seven. A deep three from Owens cut the lead to four before Berrier knocked down two at the line. Trinity finished the quarter with a free throw but still trailed 28-23 at halftime.

A quick three for the Bulldogs at the start of the third quarter cut the lead to three before Biggs picked up three points the old-fashion way for the Warriors. Owens went one for two at the line and Luke Gentry drained a three from the right-wing to get the Warriors’ lead down to one. Biggs was solid at the free-throw line for the Warriors going five for six to maintain the Warriors’ lead. Owens knocked down a jumper to trim the lead to two but Biggs scored back to back buckets to extend the lead. Reddick used a three-point play to pull the Bulldogs within five before Berrier scored on a putback to push the lead back to seven. The Bulldogs scored seven straight on a three-point play from Gentry, while Linville added two from the line and a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 42-42. Wheatmore responded with a three on the other end from Tuggle, but his celebration was a little too much and he was called for a technical foul with 17.5 seconds left. Owens hit both free throws to cut the lead to 45-44 at the end of the third quarter.

Essick gave the Bulldogs their first lead at the start of the fourth quarter when he hit two at the free throw line. Biggs put the Warriors back in front with a pair of free throws before Owens drilled a three from the left-wing. Wheatmore pulled back in front as Biggs went four for four at the line. Gentry pulled up for a three to give the Bulldogs a 52-51 advantage. The Warriors could have regained the lead, but Berrier missed a pair at the line. Essick got the friendly bounce on a three and the Bulldogs were solid from the line down the stretch. Trinity went ten for ten at the line during a 10-5 run late in the game. Wheatmore would not go away quietly at Walker drained three straight threes in twenty seconds. His last three came with 13.2 seconds left to cut the lead to 66-65. Trinity held on for a 68-65 win after Owens went two for two at the line.

Ben Owens led all scorers with 28 points, while Luke Gentry added 15 points. Chris Essick finished with ten and Richie Linville chipped in six for the Bulldogs. Austin Biggs paced the Warriors with 21 points, while Ben Walker netted 12 and Gavin Dennis and Zach Berrier each added ten.

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