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Bulldogs win pair at Fredericksburg Tournament

By Tim McGrath BCC Sports Writer

The Bandera Bulldogs picked up a pair of victories last week, defeating New Braunfels Christian Academy 62-36 and the Llano Yellow Jackets 58-36 at the Fredericksburg Basketball Tournament played on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 27 and 28 at Fredericksburg.
The Bulldogs played a total of four games at the tournament, earning a split with their wins over NBCA and Llano while falling to state ranked Liberty Hill 96-54 and Burnet 45-37.
The Dogs opened the tournament against NBCA on Thursday and cruised to a 62-36 victory as Blake Keller and Ty Neff led the way with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Noah Nelson added 8 points and 7 rebounds to the Bulldog effort while Corey Jennings, CJ Shade and Cullen McGuire tacked on 6 points each for the Dogs. Aaron Shackleford added 5, Stevie Chesshir 4, Richie Marier and Caleb Beauchamp 2 each and Devin Adamsom 1 to round out the Bandera scoring effort against NBCA. Jennings also grabbed 6 rebounds for the Dogs in their winning effort against NBCA.
Later in the day the Bulldogs fell to Liberty Hill 96-54 as the Panthers hit on 12 three-pointers in coasting to an overwhelming victory over the Dogs.
On Friday, the Bulldogs began the day with a matchup against the Burnet Bulldogs and led by five with three minutes to play but were unable to hold on as Burnet squeezed out a 45-37 victory with the help of some late Bandera turnovers. Shackleford led Bandera scorers with 11 points while Neff and Keller hit for 9 each and Marier 8 in the Bulldogs scoring effort against Burnet.
The Bulldogs got back on track in their final game of the tournament and set down the Llano Yellow Jackets 58-36 as Shackleford hit for 17 points while Neff added 14 and Keller 8 in the Dogs second victory of the tournament. Nelson added 6, Marier 4, Shade 3 while McGuire, Jennings and Beauchamp chipped in with 2 points each to the Bulldog scoring effort against Llano. Keller (6), Shackleford (5), McGuire (5) and Shade (4) led the Dogs in rebounds against Llano.
Bulldog Head Coach Brett Morris praised the Bandera effort at Fredericksburg while looking forward to district play which begins on Jan. 11 at Boerne. "Against NBCA we played very disciplined on both ends of the court. Our high/low offense gave them some matchup problems with our height. It was a good game for us coming off the Christmas break," Morris said.
"Liberty Hill deserves their state ranking. They play up-tempo and force you into a lot of mistakes. I'm glad we played them because they showed us things we need to work on. We did some good things to get our 54 points," Morris said.
"Burnet was an early morning game. It was a very slow pace and we didn't score well. We were up by five with three minutes to go and then the turnover bug hit us. I felt like we let this one slip away," Morris added.
"We were 2-2 at the tournament. If we find some consistency, we can compete in our district," Morris said.
The Bulldogs return to their home court on Thursday, Jan. 3 against the Devine Warhorses and play host to the TMI Panthers on Friday, Jan. 4. Tipoff times for both will be at 12:45 pm. Tuesday, Jan. 8, the Bulldogs will travel to Ingram for their final non-district game before opening district play on Friday, Jan. 11 at Boerne.