Heart River jumped out to an early lead Thursday (Feb. 1) in Bowman, but the visitors could not hold on.
The Bulldogs rallied to take the lead in the second quarter and then pulled away in the third quarter toward a 53-37 victory over their Region 7 rival.
The victory improved the Bowman County record to 6-2 in regional play and 13-4 overall.
But the Cougars have been crashing, losing all but two of their last nine games - and going 1-5 in the last six regional contests. Heart River left Thursday with a 6-10 season record.
The Cougars jumped out to take an early 10-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, but the Bulldogs flipped the lead in the second quarter.
Seven Bulldogs scored in the second quarter as they went on a 17-10 run that gave the hosts a 23-20 edge at halftime.
But it was a third-quarter near shutout that propelled the Bulldogs to a comfortable advantage.
A stifling defense kept the Cougars scoreless until the final minute, with the visitors hitting three free throws.
The Bulldogs had gone on a 12-0 run before the visitors got three points.
Andrea Rodakowski added a basket with two seconds left to give the Bulldogs a 14-3 edge in scoring in the third quarter.
With a 37-23 lead in the fourth, the Bulldogs continued to maintain their double-digit lead for the victory.
Rodakowski led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points, while Jaci Fischer and Ellie Powell each finished with 10 points.
Bailee Peterson had four points, while Jayda Miller hit one of the team’s three long-range baskets for all of her points.
Four players (Jocelyn Kulseth, Avrie Nohava, Sophia Headley and Raegan Honeyman) all scored four points.
Only one Cougar finished in double figures. Sage Froelich scored 11 points, including two of the team’s three three-pointers.
According to the Bulldogs head coach, the team played pretty well. “The press didn’t cause a lot of turnovers but it slowed them down a little bit. It allowed them (the Cougars) not to take the shots they would want,” said Jade Schoch.
Bulldogs beat Baker
Bowman County traveled to Montana to pick up a narrow 51-49 win in Baker Tuesday (Feb. 2), but they had to come from behind to earn it.
The hosts opened up a 22-6 lead after one quarter, with the Spartans getting three three-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game.
In the second quarter, the situation was reversed as the Bulldogs held the Spartans to just two points, while scoring 15 of their own, cutting the Spartan lead to just 24-21 at halftime.
In the second half, the Spartans were able to keep their lead over the Bulldogs for the third quarter, with the hosts outscoring Bowman County by an 11-9 margin to hold a 34-30 lead.
The Bulldog rally came in the final eight minutes, when a pair of three-pointers by Peterson help propel the visitors to score 21 points while keeping the hosts to just 14 points.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Fischer (14), Rodakowski (12) and Powell (11). Peterson had six, while Miller and Madeline Stafford each scored three points. Nohava hit two free throws. Rodakowski fouled out in the fourth quarter.
The hosts had two players in double figures, led by Anika Plueger with 13 points. Emily Schumacher added 12 before fouling out, while both Eve Uecker and Mya Hadley added nine points apiece. Harlee Graham finished with seven points. Peyton Janeway scored five points.
The Bulldogs had a 5-4 edge in long-range scoring.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 57-22 victory in Lemmon (SD) Jan. 29 making it a successful road trip.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-7 first quarter lead and turned that to a 33-12 halftime lead.
The visitors outscored their hosts by a 24-10 margin in the second half to cruise to the victory.
The team finished the game with 12 players scoring.
Peterson and Powell both finished with 11 points each, while Rodakowski added 10. Headley scored six points, while Fischer had four.
Seven players scored two points (Alyssa Buckman, Miller, Allison Hoff, Kulseth, Nohava, Honeyman and Saige Stadheim).
The Bulldogs visit Dickinson Trinity Feb. 9 in a showdown with one of the region’s best squads and the squads shuffle in the standings before the beginning of the district playoffs.