The Mineola Yellowjackets dispatched the Quitman Bulldogs 71-45 at Mineola Tuesday, Feb. 5. Consistent inside play, a smothering press and timely shooting led the Jackets to victory.
With Mineola leading 10-3 and 4:00 to play in the opening quarter, the first of a number of signature plays ensued. Post Kadavian George hauled down a defensive rebound and found Conner Dobbs on a long outlet pass. Dobbs was nearly under the basket when he pushed the ball back to an on-rushing Shaw Franklin who laid it in for two. On the next play, George stole the ball on the press and brought it back down the lane for a lay-in to make the score 14-3.
The Bulldogs kept fighting. A 3-pointer by guard Trey Berry closed the score to 14-6 at the quarter break. Despite suffering six forced turnovers, the Bulldogs had matched the Yellowjackets on the boards. Each team secured eight rebounds in the quarter.
The Yellowjackets went on a nice run soon after play resumed. George scored after securing an offensive rebound and added a free throw, Davian Sneed elevated for a dunk on a breakaway, and Kelby Bruner put an offensive rebound back in for a score. The lead was extended to 21-7.
Quitman cut the margin back to 10 points with a beautiful inside effort by Luke Pruden, a long range 3-pointer by Berry and a Berry 3-point play. Mineola put up six points in the final minute courtesy of Bruner and George and took a 36-20 lead into intermission. It was this minute of play which won the game for Mineola.
Coming out of the half the Bulldogs turned the ball over on four of their first five possessions. In that time, Mineola put up ten quick points and broke the game open, 47-22. The third quarter was likely one of Jonah Fischer’s best quarters of play this year. He put up 16 points and did so both driving the lane and from beyond the 3-point arc. At the end of three, the score stood 59-29.
With the game decided, the fourth quarter resulted in a lot of traded baskets, but with little effect on the margin. The effort of Quitman’s Trey Berry and Aiden Corrior in the last minutes was commendable.