By SETH BUCKNER
The famous Boston Celtic Bill Russell said, “The only important statistic is the final score.” It is a good thing for the Bulldogs that statement is true.
On Tuesday night Jefferson High School defeated Ore City High 54-36. The game featured 38 fouls and 60 free-throw attempts. Neither team could ever get any rhythm.
Ore City won the tip and scored the first basket to lead 2-0. It would be their only lead of the game.
Jefferson missed several shots early, including several open outside shots. The Dawgs’ first score came on a Chrishon Hicks follow of his own miss. Lyrik Rawls made a nice pass to Kylan Thomas for an easy shot and a 4-2 lead. Rawls then made a jumper for a 6-2 advantage.
Jefferson’s shooting was off all night, and it allowed Ore City to hang around. The Rebels had many empty possessions and could not get the ball in the basket.
The Bulldogs were only up by five when their defense caused a turnover late in the first. On the following possession, the Dawgs took three shots, all of them three pointers. K. Thomas hit the last one for a 13-5 lead at the end of the quarter.
Christian Shepard opened the second by breaking up a pass. He tipped the ball to himself and drove in for a layup and a 15-5 lead. Shepard stole the next pass as well, causing a frustrated Ore City coach to call a time-out.
Hicks blocked a shot, and Rawls hit a fast-break basket for a 17-5 lead. Rawls scored nine points in the quarter, including an acrobatic tip-in at the buzzer. Maybe even a little after the buzzer. Hey, the referees called it so the shot was good! Jefferson led 28-15 at the half.
The Dawgs started slow in the third quarter. Jefferson only scored one point in the first four minutes, but still led 29-18.
The Rebels’ coach was very animated throughout the game and received a technical for being out of the coach’s area. He possibly covered as much of the court as some of his players.
Jefferson went on a 14-3 run for a 43-21 lead after three. Kenneth Bell scored the last four points to close the frame.
The fourth was a foul-plagued quarter. A blown whistle was the reward for anyone that drove to the goal. Both teams shot free-throws regularly, but neither team shot them well.
All but five of Ore City’s points came from two players. Rawls was the only Bulldog in double figures with 14 points. Hicks scored 8 and finished with several blocked shots. Bell had 8 points in a good game off the bench. K. Thomas scored 8, Shepard had 6, “Turbo” Jackson 4, Josh Thomas 3, Dee Black 2, and Kevin Pinson scored 1.
With the win, The Dawgs are now 9-1 in district, and 18-7 overall. The team is still undefeated at home with a 6-0 mark. Next up for the Bulldogs is a trip to Hughes Springs on Friday night to play the Mustangs.
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