The Centertown Warriors had their hands full with the Eastside Bulldogs in the first round of the postseason 5-6 grade tournament held Monday night. The Warriors defeated the Bulldogs, 41-28, in Dibrell.
The score does not reflect how close this game actually was. The Bulldogs got within two points in the third quarter. The Eastside offense imploded after its primary ball handler fouled out midway through the third quarter and that’s when the Warrior offense went on the attack.
The Warrior defense turned up the pressure after the Bulldog offense was left without the quick hands and feet of Treyton Terry. The speedy guard was able to push the ball through the Warrior full-court pressure.
The Centertown defense picked up multiple points off turnovers as Eastside struggled to inbound the ball. Nathan Lemons dropped in eight of his game-high 19 points in the final period. Isaiah Pollard dialed up from long distance and connected for a 3-pointer in the final quarter.
Eastside struggled to get the ball inbounded and down the floor in the fourth. Christian Rogers and Caden Beaty each dropped a pair of shots after getting down the floor. Jackson Thompson added the final two points of the game for Eastside.
The Warriors led 41-28 at the buzzer.
The Bulldogs led at the end of the first quarter 9-7. Each team traded blows and tried to establish their offense. Eastside used Rogers to extend the early lead. He connected inside and then pulled up behind the 3-point line and fired a shot that hit its intended target. Darren Earls hit 2-of-3 from the free-throw line.
Lemons pushed the tempo for Centertown and he started the game hot with five first quarter points. Blake Adams added two points and the Warriors trailed after one by a single basket.
The Eastside offense went cold in the second quarter. Beaty connected on the only shot from the floor in the entire period. Thompson drew a foul and went to the free-throw line and he hit the front end of the one-and-one.
In the second quarter, Trent Davenport and Aiden Miller helped the Warrior offense while the defense turned up its intensity. The ball pressure was too much for the Bulldogs in the second just before the half and Centertown claimed the lead 16-12 at the break.
Terry entered the second half with four fouls and Centertown knew to attack his side of the floor. Before Terry picked up his final foul, the Bulldogs got within two points.
WARRIOR SCORING – Nathan Lemons 19, Blake Adams 8, Ashton Griffith 5, Aiden Miller 4, Isaiah Pollard 3, Trent Davenport 2
BULLDOG SCORING – Christian Rogers 12, Caden Beaty 8, Darren Earls 3, Jackson Thompson 3, Treyton Terry 2