Taking too long to find their rhythm put the Bulldogs on the losing end of a four-point game as they fell 55-59 to the host Pleasant Hill Billies on Jan. 8 in Creswell’s only boys’ basketball game of the week.
The Dawgs trailed 10-20 after the first quarter and 20-30 at the half.
”We turned the ball over a ton – 11 times in the first half,” said Creswell Head Coach Jesse Thomas. ”It was a really, really rough game as far as strength of handling the ball, and we were also not making shots. We shot really poorly in the paint, missing some fairly uncontested shots.”
For the game, Creswell was just 13-of-33 on field goals and 8-of-20 from beyond the arc. ”Shots we’d normally make, we just didn’t make them,” Thomas said.
During the third quarter, Creswell closed to within five points before the Billies stretched their lead to 15; the Dawgs battled back within eight, but the period ended with the Bulldogs down 33-48.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs finally came alive, outscoring the Billies 21-10. ”We made pretty much everything; our defense was good, and we got whatever shots we wanted,” Thomas said.
Creswell closed to within two after Austin Gabriel hit a three-pointer from the corner with about 20 seconds left in the game. The Dawgs were then whistled for a foul on what Thomas termed ”a great steal opportunity” and the Billies sank both free throws.
The Dawgs then missed a good look in the paint, grabbed the offensive rebound and missed the put-back to end the game.
Tyler Frieze paced the Bulldogs with 23 points and five rebounds. He also held Pleasant Hill leading scorer Logan Pruitt – who finished with 19 points – scoreless in the fourth quarter. ”His defense was fantastic,” Thomas said.
Gabriel finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Stephen Parmenter had 14 points for Pleasant Hill and Max Smith had 10.
”We gave away too many possessions, and they took advantage when they got them,” Thomas said. ”It’s certainly encouraging that we were able to fight back, but you can’t expect to play just one quarter of good basketball against a good team and expect to win.”
This week, the Bulldogs are working for better outcomes as they host Harrisburg and travel to Santiam Christian and La Pine.
”If we can find a way to get started at the beginning of the game the way we played that fourth quarter against Pleasant Hill, other teams will have a really hard time beating us,” Thomas said.