One bad quarter. That’s all that separated the Bunceton Lady Dragons basketball team from winning Wednesday night in the semifinal round of the Otterville Holiday Classic against the host team.
Although the Lady Dragons fell to Otterville 57-33, Bunceton led 7-6 after the first quarter and 19-15 at the half. However, in the third quarter, the Lady Eagles rallied back with a 28-4 advantage to push the lead to 20 at 43-23. Meanwhile, in the final period, Otterville outscored Bunceton again 14-10 to win the game by 24.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said the girls played the best half they have played and it showed. “Otterville came out and weren’t hitting shots and we took advantage of that,” Ray said. “Halftime changed everything. Otterville came out hot and we couldn’t match them. The wheels fell off and we never could regain control.”
Abby Nichols had 20 points and Josie Neal 14 to lead Otterville.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 3-7 on the season, Chloe Moser finished the game with 17 points along with seven rebounds and one steal. Taylor Burnett chipped in five points, three rebounds and one steal while Madelyn Myers added four points and 10 rebounds, Cara Bishop three points, five rebounds and one steal, Maddie Brandes two points and four rebounds and Taylyn Heilman with two points and two rebounds.
In the opening round game back on Saturday, Dec. 29th against Kingsville, the Lady Dragons defeated the Tigers in a thriller 46-45.
In a close game throughout, Kingsville led Bunceton 13-12 after one and 26-23 at the break. However in the third quarter, the Lady Dragons rallied back with a 13-10 advantage to tie the game at 36-all. Meanwhile, in the final period, Bunceton outscored Kingsville 10-9 to win the game by one.
“This was the best game we have played yet this year,” Ray said. “Nobody stood out to be but as a whole we came out and put it together for an entire game, which is something we have been struggling to do. I am proud of the heart the girls showed.”
Taylor Burnett had 17 points, five rebounds and three steals to lead Bunceton. Chloe Moser tallied 12 points, 12 rebounds and three steals while Madelyn Myers added nine points, five rebounds and one steal, Taylyn Heilman six points, five rebounds and two steals and Cara Bishop with two points, seven rebounds and three steals.
For Kingsville, Casey Stout had 14 points and Rhiannon Spies with 11.
As for the Bunceton boys, they fell in both games while losing to Otterville 72-50 in the opening round on Saturday and 44-41 in the consolation semifinals on Monday against Kingsville.
In the game against Otterville, the Dragons trailed by just one-13-12-after one but was outscored 59-38 for the rest of the game. Otterville led 35-23 at the half and 51-34 after three quarters of play.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said this was probably the teams worst shooting game of the year so far. “We played one very good half,” Ray said. “The second half again came back to nail us.”
Cyrus Gilmore led four players in double figures for Otterville with 13 points. Mark Oleynik and Isaiah Gilmore each had 12 points while Brad Conner chipped in 10.
For Bunceton, Brayden Doyle finished the game with 13 points along with four rebounds and two steals. Layne Maddex had 12 points and six rebounds while Dillon Alpers added 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals, Jason Burnett eight points, four rebounds and two steals, Hunter Shuffield six points and two rebounds and Dylan Flatt with one point, one rebound and one steal.
In the game Monday against Kingsville, the Dragons led 13-3 after first period’s end and 23-13 at the half. However, in the third quarter, Kingsville rallied back with a 17-12 advantage to cut the lead back to two at 35-33. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Tigers outscored Bunceton 11-6 to win the game by three.
Ray said this is almost the same story as the other losses. “We came out hot and played super well in the first half and then we come out flat in the second half,” Ray said. “The third quarter yet again was our downfall.”
Jackson Stout and Ben Doyle each had 12 points in the game for Kingsville.
For Bunceton, Brayden Doyle finished the game with 10 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Dillon Alpers also finished the game with 10 points, three rebounds and three steals while Jason Burnett tallied eight points, six rebounds and one steal, Layne Maddex seven points, five rebounds and two steals and Hunter Shuffield with six points, four rebounds and one steal.
The Bunceton boys will play La Monte in the seventh place game on Friday starting at 6 p.m. As for the Bunceton Lady Dragons, they will face Slater in the third place game on Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m.
In the only other game on Wednesday, the top-seeded Smithton girls defeated fourth-seeded Slater 53-29.
Games slated for Thursday on the boys side of the bracket had the No. 1 Slater boys playing Otterville and No. 2 Smithton battling Lincoln.
The championship games for the boys and girls will be held on Saturday at 2:30 and 4 p.m.