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Bulldogs surge by Wildcats for PAC-7 win

Stephanie King

A varsity PAC-7 doubleheader closed out with the Eastern Randolph Wildcats taking on the Trinity Bulldogs on Friday. The Wildcats entered Friday’s contest 0-4 in conference play and 1-13 overall on the season, while the Bulldogs were 2-2 in conference play and 12-3 overall on the season.

Trinity came out on fire in the first quarter of play as they opened things up with three straight three pointers. Thunder Levy knocked down back to back threes before Hunter Neal drained one from behind the arc. The Bulldogs would take an 11-0 lead after a bucket from Tyler Hammonds. Eastern Randolph could not find the bottom of the net until under the four-minute mark when Stephon Jones knocked down a jumper. Trinity maintained their lead throughout the rest of the quarter, but it did not stop the Wildcats from trying to claw their way back into this one. After one quarter of play, the Bulldogs led 17-8.

Eastern Randolph got a big boost from Zion Warner in the second quarter as they sliced through the Trinity lead. A baseline drive from Warner at the start of the quarter cut the lead to seven for the Wildcats. Trinity never let the Wildcats pull even or take the lead, but they did give up a couple drives to hoop. Eastern Randolph had the lead down to six before Will Wheat drained the Bulldog’s fifth three of the night to extend the lead to 25-16. Braxton Luther and Jones each scored for the Wildcats to pull back within five midway through the quarter. A three-point play from Warner cut the lead to four for the Wildcats and that would be as close as they could get. Trinity pushed their lead back out and capped off the quarter with a three ball from Levy at the buzzer. At halftime, Trinity led Eastern Randolph 39-29.

Connor Stanley stepped up for the Bulldogs during the third quarter as he helped them maintain their lead. Eastern Randolph matched the Bulldogs bucket for bucket, but that was not going to be enough if they wanted a shot at winning the game. Trinity took double digit leads a couple times during the third quarter to try and put the Wildcats away. Eastern Randolph battled to keep the game close. Eastern Randolph closed out the quarter on a 5-2 run to keep the game within twelve. After three quarters of play, Trinity led the Wildcats 54-42.

Both teams stepped it up in the final quarter of play as they battled it out for a win. Trinity never let the Wildcats get closer than eight as they held onto control. Eastern Randolph tried to rally late, but the Bulldogs would not have it. With just over a minute and a half remaining, Eastern Randolph’s coach was called for two technical fouls in the span of a few seconds and was ejected from the game. Levy made two out of the four free throws for the Bulldogs. Trinity would hold off the Wildcats for a 67-52 win.

Connor Stanley led the Bulldogs with 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Thunder Levy finished with 16 points and 5 assists. Tyler Hammonds notched 12 points and Hunter Neal added 11 points and 5 assists. Zion Warner ed the Wildcats with 20 points, while Braxton Luther finished with 13. Kody Wilder and Stephon Jones each finished with 6 points for the Wildcats.

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