In a game that was key to playoff seedings, the hot-shooting Thorndale Bulldogs) downed the Thrall Tigers 63-42 last Tuesday night.
Thorndale got off to a hot start scoring the game’s first seven points, but Luke Williams and Stephen Graham pulled the Tigers with one late in the first quarter. Thorndale responded hitting the three of their 10 3-pointers of the game over the final two minutes of the period. Dean Johnson’s long-range jumper put the Bulldogs up 10-6 and Blake Roberts’ trey made it 15-10. Chance Betak finished off the quarter for the Bulldogs with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and Thorndale led 18-10 after one.
While getting several good shots off against the Bulldog defense, Thrall didn’t get on the board until the 4:48 mark of the second period. Williams completed a 3-point play that ended the Tigers’ scoring drought and made the score 21-13. Williams’ shot seemed to give the Tigers a spark and on the next trip down the floor Graham hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arch and the Tigers were within six.
The Bulldogs responded with a 7-0 run to push their lead to 29-16 just under a minute to play in the half. The teams traded baskets over the final few seconds and Thorndale took a 31-18 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Bulldogs got a pair of 3-pointers from Betak, and Roberts hit his third of the game that put Thorndale up 42-24 with 2:01 to play in the third quarter. Jake Ivy added a short jumper that gave the Bulldogs a 20-point advantage with 1:00 left in the period. Betak closed out the third quarter like he did the first by hitting a buzzer-beating trey that put the Bulldogs up 47-26 going into the final period.
Graham scored seven of his 12 points in the fourth, while Williams added five points to his team-high 16-point effort. Both players hit the mark from 3-point range in the quarter as well. But, the Bulldogs were able to match Thrall point for point, including two more threes from Betak and Johnson to secure the win.
Roberts led all scorers with 18 points for the Bulldogs, while Betak finished with 15. For the game, Thorndale shot 52 percent from the field and were a blistering 10 of 17 from behind the 3-point arch. The Bulldogs were also able to take advantage of 22 Thrall turnovers, converting those miscues into 22 points.
Thrall was back on the floor Friday in their home finale taking on the Milano Eagles. The Eagles knocked off the Tigers 67-60 in their first meeting three weeks ago.