Belgreen squeaks past Red BayPublished 5:59am Saturday, January 28, 2012
The Belgreen Bulldogs faced a challenge not seen very often this season Tuesday night. The Bulldogs had to play from behind for the first 24 and a half minutes of their game against Red Bay. The winning team is only decided when the final second ticks off the clock, and Belgreen came from behind to win 52-48 in a hard-fought contest.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, and all told Belgreen was only ahead of Red Bay for three minutes and five seconds of the 32-minute game.
“I never thought we were out of it,” Belgreen head coach Greg Watson said. “That was the first time we played as good as we could.”
Red Bay led for most of the contest, but Belgreen was never very far behind. Ben Hubbard started off the game on the right foot for the Tigers by draining a 3-pointer to open up the scoring.
The Tigers led 9-6 by the midpoint of the first, and this three-point lead remained late into the quarter at 15-12.
Jake Tittle hit a lay-up for Belgreen to close the gap to one, but Hubbard ended the first with another 3 to give Red Bay an 18-14 advantage going into the second.
The Tigers were up 26-23 with a minute remaining before intermission. Michael Ramirez hit a 3 to extend Red Bay’s lead, but two straight lay-ups by the Bulldogs narrowed the gap to 29-27 at halftime.
“We never quit, and I’m proud of them,” Watson said. “[Red Bay] has a good team, and Coach Cash is a good coach. We knew going in we would have to play hard to win. We should have lost that game.”
Tittle hit a lay-up out of the break to tie the game at 29-29, but the lead would elude Belgreen for another quarter.
Red Bay went on a small run to regain the lead. Brett McDowell made a steal that he turned into a lay-up, Ramirez hit a 3 and Hunter Childers made an offensive rebound that he turned into a put-back lay-up, putting Red bay ahead 36-29. Chase Landers ended the Bulldogs’ drought with a lay-up of his own.
The teams went back-and-forth through the rest of the third, but a 3-pointer by Landers made the score 38-36 Red Bay at the end of the third.
30 seconds into the fourth Tyler Medina gave Belgreen its first lead of the game on a 3. Ramirez took the advantage back for Red Bay with a field goal, but Tittle made a lay-up to put the Bulldogs back ahead.
The lead would change five times in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. Red Bay took another small lead after Cole Rooker drew an and one followed by two free throws by Childers.
Landers hit one free throw for Belgreen, but Rooker answered with two of his own, putting the Tigers up 48-44 with just over three minutes left in the game.
Two lay-ups by Tittle put Belgreen back even with Red Bay. The Bulldogs went into a tough full-court press that began reeking havoc on the Tigers. The press caused several turnovers and resulted in Belgreen taking the lead at 50-48 after a steal and lay-up by Tittle.
The press continued to hurt the Tigers, allowing the Bulldogs to pull out the win.
“It’s our own fault,” Red Bay head coach Greg Cash said. “We made turnovers at the end and we missed two lay-ups. We played well enough to win, but we didn’t finish.”
Tittle led the Bulldogs in points with 25. Landers had 20, Medina added 5 and Chaney Simmons contributed 2.
Ramirez led Red Bay in scoring with 12 points. Hubbard and McDowell had 9 each and Childers added 7. Also scoring for the Tigers were Rooker (6), Austin Sparks (3) and Austin Humphres (2).