BULLDOGS GUARD TAYLER FORSMAN LOSES A PASS TO EAGLES GUARD BEN GALCERAN WHO SWATS THE BALL OUT OF BOUNDS DURING THE FOURTH QUARTER OF THE CRESWELL VS SANTIAM CHRISTIAN MATCHUP ON FEB. 1. THE CRESWELL BULLDOGS LOST TO THE SANTIAM CHRISTIAN EAGLES 42-28 AND HAVE A CURRENT OVERALL RECORD OF 10-9. Christopher Palanuk / The Creswell Chronicle
Offensive and defensive inconsistency plagued the Bulldogs last week; the 11th-ranked Dawgs played like two different basketball teams as they were twice clipped by Eagles.
Creswell fell 37-48 to the previously-winless-in-league host Harrisburg Eagles on Jan. 29, but just 42-48 to the visiting top-ranked Santiam Christian Eagles on Feb. 1.
At Harrisburg, the Dawgs played ”definitely the worst game we’ve played all year, both offensively and defensively,” said Creswell Head Coach Jesse Thomas.
The Bulldogs trailed 6-11 after one, 18-30 at halftime and 27-38 after three.
Thomas said Harrisburg’s game was essentially unchanged from the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 14, when Creswell won 69-46. Last Tuesday, by contrast, ”We had no energy (and) no ball movement; we didn’t guard or pressure, and we were not shooting very well,” Thomas said. ”We had almost no offensive rebounds; we didn’t anticipate or communicate well; we were out of position – we were just not clicking.”
Tyler Frieze led the Dawgs with 16 points and four rebounds. Dallton Dewey added eight points and Austin Gabriel had six rebounds.
Although they still fell short of victory, the Bulldogs ”played much better” against Santiam Christian on Friday; better than against Harrisburg earlier in the week, and better than against SC in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 16, when Creswell took a 36-62 drubbing.
”This time, we were in it; we had chances to win it,” Thomas said. ”About 10 plays made the difference between us winning and losing.”
To counter a significant size deficit against the Eagles, the Bulldogs sought to limit SC’s possessions. ”That was by design, and we succeeded,” Thomas said of the 4-7 first-quarter score. ”Five of their seven points came off turnovers when we made two atrocious passes; they only scored once off their offense all quarter.”
Down 15-20 at halftime, Creswell kept the score close but the Eagles outscored the Dawgs 21-9 in the third to close the period up 41-26.
”They had six second-chance points in that quarter,” Thomas noted.
Still, the Dawgs fought back: ”With about two-and-a-half minutes left, it was a 12-, 13-point game; then we went on a run and got it to four points before a pair of SC free throws widened it back to six,” Thomas said.
Kai Apo and Gabriel paced Creswell with 13 points apiece. Apo also had eight rebounds, while Gabriel had seven. Frieze added nine points, all in the second half.
”They’re just so much bigger that the size differential is brutal for us. But where we could have given up after the third quarter, we did fight back. We battled and we got close enough to make them nervous,” Thomas said.
Now 3-5 in league, the Bulldogs are slated to host La Pine (2-6) and travel to fifth-ranked Pleasant Hill (7-1, tied with Santiam Christian to lead the league) this week.