It took a late rally filled with three-pointers for the Bowman County take Friday’s 66-57 road win over Heart River.
In a bruising back-and-forth battle throughout the game, the two teams traded leads until the fourth quarter when junior Gavin Scott scored 11 of the team’s 19 points to help the visitors pull out the win. Nine of the fourth-quarter points came from outside the arc for Scott, who finished the night with 23 points.
With a narrow 47-45 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs added another two points to the lead when Bishop Duffield stole the ball and run in for a layup.
But the hosts scored twice to tie the game at 49-49 with six minutes left, then took the lead seconds later with a free throw.
However, Scott quickly put the Bulldogs ahead (52-50) with his first three-pointer of the quarter. Caleb Duffield added to the lead with a basket at the 3:53 mark, but the Cougars scored to close the gap to just 54-52.
Scott added his second trey with 2:23 left, making it a brief five point lead (57-52) only to have the Cougars’ Preston Water his one of his own – cutting the lead to two points again.
Scott hit his third three with 1:54 left to put the Bulldogs ahead by five (60-55), but the Cougars scored again about 10 seconds later.
Caleb Duffield, who finished with 28 points for the night, added two more baskets in the final minute and Scott put in two free throws with 17 seconds left to close out the scoring.
Early in the game, the Cougars held a 10-5 lead, only to see baskets by Clay Heimer and Caleb Duffield cut the gap to just one with a minute left. With about 30 seconds left, Caleb Duffield followed up with an offensive rebound to give the Bulldogs a narrow 11-10 lead at the first buzzer.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs built an 18-14 lead, only to see the hosts rally to tie the game, then take the lead on a three-point basket by Braden Obrigewitch, who later added a free throw to make the score 24-20 with the Cougars in the lead.
The Cougars built a seven point lead (29-22) with just over two minutes left in the half.
However, Caleb Duffield went on a tear, hitting a three-pointer, a two-point basket and a free throw in less than a minute to tie the game at 29-29.
With a minute on the clock, the Cougars scored to grab a two-point lead (33-31), only to see the lead disappear with 41 seconds left when Sam Andrews put it in.
In the second half, the Cougars scored first to take the lead.
But the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game again with his only basket, making it 37-37.
With 3:10 left in the third quarter, Caleb Duffield added a three pointer, scoring five in less than a minute to give the Bulldogs a 42-41 lead. Scott added another basket to make it a three point lead. He would add another of his three pointers before the end of the quarter.
Bulldogs lead in treys
Caleb Duffield and Scott were the only Bulldogs to score in double figures.
They were followed by Bishop Duffield with six points, Carson Massey with three, and two points from Senn, Sam Andrews, Clay Heimer.
The Bulldogs finished the game with eight three-pointers – all from Caleb Duffield (3) and Scott (5). The Cougars hit a total of four from long range, giving the visitors a 24-12 edge in points from the outside.
Both teams struggled at the free throw line, with the Bulldogs hitting just 6-of-18 (33 percent), but the hosts hit 12-of-27 (44.4 percent).
The Cougars were led by Waters’ 19 points, while Tyler Kastrow added 14 and Tarrance Dillinger finished with 10 points. Austin Buckman and Braden Obrigewitch each scored seven points. Obrigewitch was the only player to foul out of the game, picking up his final foul with just under six minutes left in the game.
“We have been in about a three-week shooting slump,” Bowman County coach Nick Walker said after the victory. “We need to give our kids more opportunity to shoot game shots.
“The kids played very hard.
“There are six teams that could win the tournament .... and Heart River is one of them,” the coach added.
Walker also said that Scott came up big for the team with his three-point baskets. “Gavin has worked his tail off to be the player that he is. We couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Although the team didn’t shoot the ball well in the first quarter, the Bulldogs came back with 22 points in the second quarter.
“We missed a lot of shots in the first half that we would normally make. If we can make the shots we normally make, we are going to have a good tourney. If not, it is going to be really tough for us,” he added.