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Bulldogs, Lady Bulldogs kick off district schedule with big wins at Coalfield

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By Taylor Crombie

Both the Wartburg Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs came out on top at Coalfield Friday night in the two schools’ first district contests of the 2017-2018 season. The Lady Bulldogs started the night with a 72-42 over the Lady Jackets, then the Bulldogs finished a tense battle against the Yellow Jackets with 88-72 victory.

Lady Bulldogs vs. Lady Jackets

The Lady Bulldogs showed off both their offensive and defensive might in the first half, outscoring the Lady Jackets 25-1 in the first period and held a comfortable 34-8 lead at halftime.

Madison Holley drained back-to-back threes early to start the scoring for Wartburg and the rest of the team followed suit. Seven Lady Bulldogs put up points in the first half, with Hannah Hurtt leading the charge with 11 points on her own.

While Wartburg came out incredibly strong offensively, the Lady Bulldogs were equally as tough on defense.

“I think the main reason we were able to do so well was our defense,” Wartburg assistant coach Michael Poland said. “I don’t know that Coalfield was really ready for the amount of pressure we were able to put on them, so that led to a lot of turnovers that we were able to translate into points.”

The Lady Jackets settled in during the second half and scored 18 points in the third quarter. Brooklyn Seiber did the majority of the damage nine points, while Micah Moore added five of her own.

“I talked to them at halftime and told them to just go out and play,” Coalfield head coach Carmen Hines said. “I think they calmed down a little bit and that helped out a lot.”

While the Lady Jackets got some shots off in the third, the Lady Bulldog offense didn’t let up and extended their lead to 30 points by the end of the quarter. Hurtt continued to lead the way and added eight more points to her total, while Madison Williams turned it on and scored another six.

The Lady Jackets kept pace with the Lady Bulldogs in the final period, but couldn’t make up for the damage that had been done early on and let Wartburg take the 72-42 victory.

Hurtt finished the game with 19 points. Williams was the only other Lady Bulldog to reach double digits at 10 points, but Callie Johnson wasn’t far behind with nine and Ines Gutierrre-Jorda, MaKayla Poland and Regan Redmon each scored six.

While the Lady Bulldogs have no shortage of shooters, Hines is still looking for more from the Lady Jacket’s offense.

“We’ve got to improve on our shooting and I’ve got to find some consistent scorers,” she said.

Seiber led the Lady Jackets with 15 points and went 8-9 at the free throw line.

Wartburg (72) Armes 5, Hurtt 19, Johnson 9, Smith 2, Gouge 4, Redmon 6, Holley 6, Ma Williams 10, Poland 6, Jones 2, Me Williams 3.

Coalfield (42) Henry 4, Bunch 2, Roberts 3, Hooper 3, Seiber 15, Tinker 5, Moore 8, Tucker 2.

The Bulldogs had trouble stopping Johnny Carroll and Jake Kilby at post early in the first quarter, and quickly faced a 9-4 deficit. They found their stride, though, and took a 15-13 lead as tempers began to flare for the Yellow Jackets.

Technical fouls were called on Carroll and Peyton McKinney, giving Wartburg’s Dillon Fountain four easy points and extending Wartburg’s lead to 19-21. Fountain scored two more shots before the end of the period, putting the Bulldogs up 23-15.

The Yellow Jackets tied the game at 30 with less than a minute left in the first half, but Lance Byrd drew another technical foul to put Fountain on the free throw line again. Fountain hit both shots to put the Bulldogs back ahead.

Boone Davidson drained a three-pointer to extend Wartburg’s lead before Tyler Keathley was hit with Coalfield’s fourth technical foul of the half with only 15 seconds remaining in the period.

Fountain went to the line again for Wartburg and scored another two points to give Wartburg a 37-31 lead at the end of the half.

The Yellow Jackets cut Wartburg’s lead down to 68-65 midway through the fourth quarter after scoring seven unanswered points. They kept sending the Bulldogs to the free throw line though, allowing them to pull away again.

The Bulldogs ended up picking up 30 points from the free throw line in their 88-72 win over the Yellow Jackets.

“We had a lot of mistakes and a lot of young kids playing,” Coalfield head coach Daniel Byrd said.

“We can’t have that many technicals in a ball game. Some of those were from some young players who were put in some situations they haven’t been put in, and they have to be smarter than that.”

Fountain led the Bulldogs with 31 points and went 14 for 16 from the free throw line.

“Dillon Fountain played one of the best games he’s played,” Wartburg head coach Joe Layne said. “He kept his calm tonight and made a lot of free throws when we were shooting those technical fouls. He just did a lot of little things right.”

Caleb Constant bounced back last week after a couple of quiet games and scored 19 points against Coalfield.

Carroll led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points, while Keathley wasn’t far behind with 16.

Overall, Layne was satisfied with the Bulldogs’ performance in their first district game.

“We fought through some tough stuff there,” he said. “Our kids played hard and together for the most part.”

Byrd, meanwhile, would like to see more consistency out of the Yellow Jackets.

“We had runs and moments, but we’ve got to put that together for four quarters.”

Wartburg (88) Decker 6, Davidson 10, Justice 7, Fountain 31, Constant 19, Brastetter 6, Barnette 9.

Coalfield (72) Keathley 16, McKinney 2, Byrd 2, Jones 2, Buck 1, Miklas 9, S Lowe 7, J Lowe 2, Johnson 4, Kilby 8, Carroll 19.