Trailing 16-0 right out of the gates last night against the Jamestown Eagles wasn't exactly what Bunceton boys basketball coach Yancy Cody had in mind for the Dragons.
But little did he know that his team would more than make up for it in the second half while dropping 11 three-pointers on the Eagles before losing by a score of 70-65.
While finishing the game with 13 three-pointers total, the Dragons also had four players finish in double figures against the Eagles.
"We were in a hole down 16-0 but the kids kept fighting and fighting," Cody said, "and then on top of that Jacob Clevenger went down in the first half with a leg injury and I thought that hurt us. But the other guys stepped up and got big shots when we needed it. I thought everybody played hard but I also thought Jamestown shot the ball well."
Of course the Bunceton-Jamestown game wasn't the only game on tap last night. In the first game, the Otterville boys defeated Higbee 57-20 while the Prairie Home girls beat Higbee for the second time in a week by a score of 45-39.
Tournament action will continue tonight, with the Otterville girls playing Jamestown at 5 p.m., followed by the Prairie Home boys versus Higbee at 6:30 and the Bunceton girls versus Higbee at 8.
Kyler Tucker led the Dragons, who dropped to 5-8, with 21 points along with six assists and one rebound while Ashton Campbell added 12 points, five rebounds and two assists, Kyle Held with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists and Jacob Clevenger with 10 points and four rebounds. Will Twenter also tossed in six points, five assists and three rebounds while Aaron Clevenger had five points and three rebounds and Dylon Custer with one assist.
For Jamestown, who entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, Isaac Duncan tossed in 16 points.
Sixteen was also the magic number for the Eagles in the first quarter. Although Jamestown opened the game with three threes in the first-two minutes to go up 11-0, they would follow it up with five more points to make it 16-0 with 3:54 left.
However for the rest of the period, the Dragons matched Jamestown point for point despite trailing by a score of 25-9.
Duncan also scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the first quarter for the Eagles.
Of course you knew Jamestown would cool off somewhat in the second quarter. But even then the Eagles were still 14 better than the Dragons at the half while leading 36-22.
Although Bunceton held a 13-10 advantage in the second period, they were still looking at a double-digit deficit at the break.
However, in the third quarter, the Dragons started to let the threes fly while burying four treys to close the gap at 48-42. Bunceton also outscored Jamestown 20-13 in the third period.
Page 2 of 3 - But even then the Dragons looked to be on the outside looking in with only eight minutes to make up the difference. The Eagles, meanwhile, pushed the lead back up to 11 (59-48) with 4:20 left in the game. However, over the next-three minutes, Bunceton knocked down five more threes to cut the lead to three at 66-63 with 1:27 remaining. The final three by senior Ashton Campbell was also the 11th trey for the Dragons in the half.
Unfortunately for Bunceton, they never got any closer than three points for the rest of the game as Jamestown came back and held a 4-2 advantage for the victory.
Although the Dragons clearly won the battle at the three-point line, Jamestown dominated Bunceton at the foul line by hitting on 14 of 21 shots for 67 percent compared to only 4 of 10 for Bunceton for 40 percent.
As for the Prairie Home girls, they had a little different game than the first meeting against Higbee. Although the Lady Panthers won last week 50-46, they were clearly the better team on the floor last night while leading Higbee 11-7 after first period's end and 17-9 at the half.
Of course neither team lit the world on fire in the second quarter, with Prairie Home holding a 6-2 advantage.
But then in the third period, the Lady Panthers began to warm up from the outside as senior Katlynn Watson scored six of the team's 16 points. Prairie Home also outscored Higbee 16-15 in the period to go up by a score of 33-26.
However with eight minutes left in the ballgame, the Lady Tigers made the most of the opportunity by cutting the lead down to two at 41-39 after a putback by sophomore Hope Clark. But on the in-bounds play, Watson hit senior Kendra Stinson in stride on a pass the full length of the court for a layup to give the Lady Panthers a four-point lead at 43-39 with 1:53 left.
Higbee never got any closer as Prairie Home came back and hit 2 of 4 shots from the foul line to secure the victory.
Prairie Home coach Linda Scott said Higbee is stronger than the Lady Panthers physically and it showed.
"We got out-rebounded over and over again," Scott said. "I thought our press did well at times, but we must score off the press when we get a steal. We did much better on that in the second half. Offensively, we had three girls with nine or more points. The two seniors had big nights scoring. Kathylnn had three threes and ended the game with 17 points, 10 in the third quarter.
"Kendra had 14 points, 10 of those came in the fourth. Our seniors really stepped up tonight. With the game on the line, Watson threw full court pass to beat the press, Kendra was able to score off the pass. We have practiced that play in practice, it was nice to see it work in a game. Our defense did not allow Higbee a basket the last 2 minutes of the game. We stepped up in a big way when we needed to on defense. We have some injury and flu problems, playing back to back didn't help us, but the girls battled all game to win."
Page 3 of 3 - Katlynn Watson finished the game for Prairie Home, who improved to 7-10, with 17 points along with five rebounds and four steals.
Kendra Stinson had 14 points, three steals, two rebounds and two assists while Makayla Zey added nine points, 11 rebounds, six steals and one assist. Josie Flood had five points, four rebounds and two steals while Krista Small chipped in two points, five rebounds and four steals, Ally Small with two rebounds, one steal and one assist, Brooke Emmerich with one rebound and one steal and Kim Hettinger with one steal.
Prairie Home also finished the game shooting 32 percent from the field and 69 percent from the foul line.
As for Higbee, Ashley Berendzen tossed in 14 points.
As for the Otterville boys basketball team, they led Higbee 26-13 at the half and 49-18 after three quarters of play.
Jacob Gaskell had 19 points to lead all scorers for the Eagles, who improved to 9-6 on the season.
For Higbee, Austin Nelson had 12 points.