Bandera battles Boerne Greyhounds in overtime at annual Hondo tournament
by Sandy Jennings BCC Contributor
After coming off a 63-36 win in Jourdanton on Dec.3, the Bandera Varsity Boys' team headed down to Hondo for the Owls' 33rd annual basketball tournament this past weekend facing district rival Boerne Greyhounds in their first game on Thursday, Dec. 5.
"To be able to play a district rival before district is a great thing, as it allowed us to see what they were capable of and find out how we matched up against them," senior guard Jonathan Raitz said. "To play them (Boerne) to an almost standstill game gives us confidence going forward."
Knowing Boerne's offensive strengths, the Bulldogs played a combination of an intense man and match-up zone throughout the first half holding the Greyhounds to 17 points. While dominating defensively, Bandera experienced a low-scoring first half with 18 on the boards, leading Boerne at the half-time buzzer.
"We are rebounding well on the defensive side of the game, but our offensive rebounding is still lacking," Head Basketball Coach Bob Shearhart said. "On the offensive side of the ball, we miss too many easy shots, and our spacing needs work, but we are starting to understand the overall concept of our offense."
Both Bandera and the Greyhounds picked up the pace on the boards and shots started dropping for the Bulldogs including Ty Neff and Noah Nelson, who led the 'Dogs with 15 and 13 points respectively. With three minutes left in the 3rd, Bandera led 33-25.
Baskets continued to fall on both sides and Bandera strengthened their lead to 10 points, starting the fourth quarter up 42-32.
Boerne managed to close the gap and edge ahead with the Bulldogs finding themselves behind by two (43-45) with nine seconds left in the game. Caleb Beauchamp sunk two free throws, ending the game 45-45 and sending the 'Dogs into overtime.
Bandera remained tense and fought hard in OT, falling short by one point 48-49 at the buzzer.
"An early meeting with Boerne gave us information as to how they are going to play us and what we need to work on," Shearhart said.
With only one hour to recover, Bandera took on the Hondo Owls on their home court in another intense nail-biter, falling short by one point again with the same score of 48-49.
"The defense is coming along," Shearhart said. "We are still learning to recognize the situation and to rotate to the correct spot."
Offensively, scoring for the Bulldogs were Averie Mansfield 13, Nelson 11, Neff 10, Raitz 7 and Beauchamp 7.
On Friday, the 'Dogs faced the LaVernia Bears in their first match. With a sluggish start and no time to recover, Bandera found themselves down 49-62 at buzzer.
Scoring for Bandera were Mansfield 13, Beauchamp 9, Reed Blake 8, Ty Neff 8, Raitz 3, Corey Jennings 3, Nelson 2, and Marshall Beightol 2.
In their second game of the day, Bandera faced San Antonio's private school FEAST and the exhausted 'Dogs still fought with tenacity battling the Patriots until the buzzer. After being tied 40-40 with six minutes left, Bandera found themselves in foul trouble, sending FEAST to the line and allowing them to take the lead 50-44 with four minutes left. The Bulldogs found themselves behind 51-62 at the buzzer.
Scoring against the Patriots were Neff 13, Nelson 10, Beauchamp 8, Mansfield 5, Raitz 4, Jennings 4, Beightol 3, Allen Clark 2 and Blake 1.
Bandera finished tournament play Saturday morning when they took on the Cole Cougars in another close game, ending in Cole's favor 41-47. The 'Dogs all put up a defensive fight and scoring for Bandera were Neff 12, Jennings 8, Beauchamp 8, Raitz 5, Mansfield 5 and Beightol 3.
Bandera traveled to Uvalde this past Tuesday, beating the Coyotes 45-32. They will travel to Devine today, Thursday Dec. 12, for more tournament play with tipoff at 12:45pm against Pleasanton.