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Bulldogs split pair of close encounters

By Tim McGrath BCC Sports Writer

The Bandera Bulldogs split a pair of close encounters on their home court last week, defeating the Devine Warhorses 39-37 before dropping a 65-63 decision to the TMI Panthers in non-district basketball action played Jan. 3 and 4 at Bandera.
In Thursdays matchup against the Warhorses, the Bulldogs found themselves one point behind with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter when Blake Keller stepped up for the Dogs and hit a three-point shot with no time left on the clock to give Bandera a 39-37 victory.
Cullen McGuire led the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points while Keller, Noah Nelson and Richie Marier hit for 7 each and Ty Neff 6 to round out the scoring effort.
Nelson, Keller and McGuire also hauled down 7 rebounds each while Neff and Marier added 4 each for the Dogs against the Warhorses.
Caleb Beauchamp had 3 rebounds and Marshall Beightol 2 to assist the Dogs effort on the boards. Neff and Nelson also contributed to the Bulldogs defensive effort with 4 steals each against Devine.
"It was one of those games where you think you will get things going. It never happened. We survived with a three-point by Blake Keller with no time left on the clock. I was proud of our defense holding them to 37 points," Bandera Head Coach Brett Morris said.
On Friday against TMI, the Bulldogs roared back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to get within 2 of the Panthers but were unable to duplicate Thursday's last second shot at the basket as TMI held on for a 65-63 victory.
Morris praised the Dogs for their fourth quarter rally that gave them a chance to win. "We started slow and they shot well. We won every quarter but the first. When you lose by two, free throws make a difference. The boys did a great job fighting back from 12 down to have a chance at the buzzer."
The Panthers got off to a quick start in the contest, taking a 19-7 lead after one quarter of play and a 31-20 lead at the half. The Bulldogs rallied for 18 third quarter points and tallied another 25 in the final period but in the end fell just short.
Keller led the Bandera effort against TMI with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals while Nelson hit for 16 points and gathered in 7 rebounds for the Dogs against the Panthers. Neff added to the Bandera offensive effort with 11 points, 6 assists and 4 boards while McGuire and Marier contributed 10 and 9 points respectively. Beightol hauled down 5 rebounds and McGuire 4 for the Dogs against TMI.
On Friday, Jan. 11, the Bulldogs begin district play at Boerne against the Greyhounds. Tipoff will be at 7:30 pm. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Bulldogs play at home against the Navarro Panthers, with tipoff at 7 pm.

Pictured: Courtesy Photo
Bulldog Head Coach Brett Morris gives his varsity squad some strategy.

Photo courtesy Laurie Neff
Blake Keller (2) threw up a 3-pointer in the final seconds of a match-up against the Devine Warhorses to give the Bulldogs a 39-37 win. He's pictured here in another recent game.