The Bunceton boys basketball team will try for its first win of the season in the seventh place game in the Otterville Holiday Classic on Saturday.
While losing to No. 1 seeded Lincoln in the opening round back on December 29th by a score of 66-39, the Dragons also fell in the consolation semifinals against fourth-seeded Otterville 68-51.
Bunceton will play Kingsville in the seventh place game.
As for the game against Lincoln, the Dragons trailed the Cardinals 41-8 at the half and 54-23 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the fourth, Bunceton outscored Lincoln 16-12.
While outscoring the Cardinals 31-25 in the second half, Bunceton coach Cass Keene said this is the first time his team has responded with mental toughness through adversity.
“We came out and competed early in the first to score of 10-5 and then we allowed the Cardinals to go on a 31-3 run to finish the half,” Keene said. “We did something right at halftime and came out to outscore Lincoln in the second half.”
Nate Hesse had 14 points to lead all scorers for Lincoln.
For Bunceton, Hunter Shuffield finished the game with 17 points. Jason Burnett chipped in 15 while Dillon Alpers added five and Lane Maddex with two.
In the game against Otterville, the Dragons once again found itself on the outside looking in while trailing the Eagles 19-10 after one and 36-25 at the break. Otterville also outscored Bunceton 32-26 in the second half.
“This was our third game with Otterville already this year,” Keene said. “I’d like to point out Hunter Griffin’s defensive effort against Spencer. This game mirrored our first contest in that we played well enough to win in all aspects besides rebounding. It’s hard to win basketball games when you are out-rebounded by 20-plus. We played our most efficient offensive game of the year in my opinion. Defensively, we forced a lot of missed shots, but their ability to secure offensive rebounds won the game.”
Spencer Saltsqaver had 31 points to lead all scorers for Otterville.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 0-12 on the season, Jason Burnett and Brayden Doyle each had 16 while Hunter Shuffield added 12, Dillon Alpers five and Rylee Knapheide with two.
Otterville will play La Monte in the third place game on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. In the boys third place game, Northwest will face Slater at 2:30. Meanwhile, in the championship, Lincoln will take on Smithton at 4.