A playoff berth is now at stake as the Banquete Bulldogs lost on the road in a physical game with the Skidmore-Tynan Bobcats Friday night. The loss puts the Bulldogs' district record at 5-2.
Banquete began the game impressively as they opened with a three-pointer by Matt Crook, leading the way to a 7-0 scoring run before Skidmore's Ben Davis found the basket with 4:45 left in the first.
The Bulldogs continued to outscore and shut down the Bobcats throughout the first quarter, giving up only one more point to a free throw by Conner McCarn. By the end of the first, Banquete led, 13-3.
The second quarter appeared at the start to be going the same way as the first as the Bulldogs' defense continued to keep Skidmore-Tynan from scoring. After another three-point shot by Crook with 5:29 left in the half, Banquete held an 18-3 lead. However, it would be their last basket of the quarter.
With 3:35 left, the Bobcats' Zac Mergers hit a three point shot, cutting the Bulldogs' lead to 12 points and beginning a 10-0 scoring run by Skidmore. Banquete player Wade McElroy was called for a technical foul during the scoring run.
"We just lost our composure," Crook said. "We had a 15-point lead and we just couldn't keep our foot on their throat and put them out."
Banquete didn't score again until 5:35 left in the third on a jumper by Justin Garza. However, a lay-up by Davis followed by a three-point shot by Zac Hall tied the game at 20-20 shortly after.
The Bulldogs then turned the ball over on traveling calls, leading to some heated words by players that prompted a technical foul against Corey Nava. McCarn hit both free throws to give the Bobcats a two-point lead, 22-20.
By the end of the third quarter, Skidmore held a slim 22-21 lead over Banquete.
The fourth quarter saw both teams at their most physical as they traded baskets. Nava and Adrian Rios hit three-pointers in the quarter, with Nava's score pulling the Bulldogs to within two points with 1:49 left.
In the end, Banquete was unable to hit their final shot, losing the ball out-of-bounds as time ran out.
"They're a good team," Crook said of the Bobcats. "They came back and won. We've got to give them that."
Crook led Banquete with nine points, including two three-point shots. Garza had eight points and Rios finished with seven points.
The Bulldogs' next game will be at home against the Bloomington Bobcats at 6:30 p.m. Friday night. Their final game will be Tuesday against the Taft Greyhounds who have previously handed Banquete their first district loss back on Jan.29, 54-62.
"The only thing that we're disappointed in is we had one loss before district, and in the six games or so we played in district, we lost two," Crook said. "It's kind of disappointing. When you're used to 22-1 for so long and then you drop one and two games later you drop another one, that's kind of hard."