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Bulldogs improve to 3-2 in district with wins over Wimberley, Canyon Lake as they head into second round of district play

By Brady Keane BCC Contributor

After the first full round of district competition, the Bandera Bulldogs are sitting in third place with a (3-2) record. The Bulldogs got an important victory over the Wimberley Texans last Tuesday night by a score of 68-44, before getting another convincing win over Canyon Lake on Friday 62-39.
"We all wish we were in first place at this point," senior guard Jonathan Raitz said. "We had two golden opportunities, but couldn't finish the game in both situations (losses to Boerne and Fredericksburg). However, we still control our own destiny, and if we can win out we really put ourselves in a favorable position."
The Bulldogs win on Tuesday against Wimberley pushed the Bulldogs ahead of the Texans in the fight for playoff positioning. The team rallied together early in the contest and never let the Texans build momentum in the game.
"An early lead gave us a lot of confidence that we rode throughout the whole game," junior post Noah Nelson said. "We were dominating inside which opened up the outside shots that really allowed us to pull out of reach."
The dominating play inside is obvious in the stat line as Nelson and juniors Averie Mansfield and Corey Jennings combined for over 25 rebounds.The Bulldogs post play certainly opened up opportunities for the guards to score, which kept Wimberley off balance defensively. The Bulldogs were led in scoring by junior Ty Neff with 21 points, followed by Mansfield with 12, Nelson with 11, senior Marshall Beightol with 10, Raitz with 6, Jennings with 4, and Ish MacNeil and Milam Boyle both with 2.. Although the Bulldogs racked up 68 points on the night, the biggest basket came just before the final buzzer on an impressive pump fake and shot from senior Milam Boyle.
"It was awesome to see him make the shot," senior Jonathan Raitz said. "But what made it so special was his pump fake and his reaction after it went in. We were all ecstatic, and his enthusiasm never gets old."
The shot electrified team and the town as a whole, giving the Bulldogs momentum heading into Fridays game against the Canyon Lake Hawks. The Bulldogs came out slow, but eventually got into a groove and were able to put away the Hawks in convincing fashion.
"Once we began to play our game, the margin started to widen," Raitz said. "We stopped thinking about each little play and started playing basketball and having fun."
Neff again led the way for the Bulldogs with an impressive 32 point performance, his third 30+ point game so far this season. Other Bulldog leaders included Mansfield with 11 points and two blocked shots, Raitz with eight points and five rebounds, Nelson with six points and seven rebounds, and Jennings with three points and four rebounds, and Marshall Beightol rounded off the 'Dog scoring with 2 points.
The Bulldogs are now sitting in third place through the first five games of the district season, with two big rematches coming up against the Boerne Greyhounds and the Fredericksburg Battlin' Billies. Bandera traveled to Boerne on Tuesday January 28 with results to follow next week, and will head to Fredericksburg on February 4.
The Bulldogs will host the Navarro Panthers tomorrow night for Varsity parent night with jv and freshman games beginning at 5:30 and the varsity squad playing at 7 pm.