Bulldogs win at AAC

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After a slow first quarter, the Quitman Bulldogs settled in at the cavernous American Airlines Center (AAC) in Dallas to run past Bonham 49-36. It took a while for both teams to adjust to the court and to the NBA three-point line. 

Long distance shots were coming up just short for both teams early in the contest. For the record, the NBA distance is 22 feet in the corners and 23.75 feet at the top of the key. The NCAA (college) distance is set at 20.7 feet with the normal high school distance 19.75 feet.

Quitman’s Trey Berry was right at home on the big stage hitting on a pair of three-pointers on his way to a 20-point night. Fellow senior Jace Reid did most of his damage in the lane also hitting for 20 points and grabbing 16 rebounds while dominating the boards on defense and offense. Berry and Reid each had five assists in the game. The Bulldogs are still playing without Aiden Corrior and Cody Hawley, both nursing ankle injuries.

It took almost three minutes for anyone to score. Bonham got the first bucket and led 2-0 until Berry hit a jump shot making it 2-2 for Quitman’s first score with 4:31 left in the quarter. Reid hit a jumper to tie the game at 4-4, but Bonham went up 6-4 until Berry scored again to tie the contest at 6-6. Bonham was up 8-6 when a Ben Burrough’s free throw made it 8-7 with Bonham leading after one period.

It was big second quarter for the Bulldogs as they went on a 15-6 run led by Berry with eight points, including the game’s first triple from the corner which gave Quitman a 16-14 lead. Quitman did not fall behind again.

The Bulldogs blew it open in the third quarter. The Bulldogs’ constant pressure led to numerous Bonham turnovers leading to good shots for Quitman. The Purple Warrior press did not bother Quitman as the Bulldogs continually broke through the Bonham defense. Quitman outscored Bonham 16-5 in the third quarter to take a 38-19 lead into the final eight minutes.

The Bulldogs were strongest in the second and third quarters as they put it on the Purple Warriors, scoring 31 points to just 11 for Bonham in that time.

It was Reid’s turn in the fourth quarter as he hit for eight fourth quarter points leading to the final score. Reid put the game away getting three points the old fashioned way, hitting a hard earned shot under the bucket and making a free throw after being fouled. Rylie Flanagan and Berry each had a pair of blocked shots on the defensive side.

Coach Jim Reid also got to see a little more of newcomers Chris Chabaud and Jayden Hall. Hall hit for four points and did a good defensive job working against a taller Bonham post. Chabaud showed he can give the Bulldogs muscle underneath the bucket as he showed no fear mixing it up with the opponents. He also added two points. Ford Tannebaum added two points and Ben Burroughs hit a free throw to round out the scoring for Quitman. River Chaney did a great job defensively, shutting down Bonham’s perimeter shooters.

Head Coach Jim Reid said, “I am extremely pleased that these young men got the opportunity to play in this venue. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for most of them to be able to play a game in a professional arena. It definitely took some adjustment to the environment as you can tell by the shooting percentages, but we were fortunate enough to come away with the win against a tough opponent.

“We continued to play with effort even though we were not completely on point due to our surroundings. It was good to see Chris Chabaud finally get back in the lineup as well as Jayden Hall.  Hopefully, we will get Cody (Hawley) and Aiden (Corrior) back soon. We just need to stay focused during the Christmas break.”

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