Junior Andy Jones (12) led the Bulldogs with 15 points.
The Bulldogs got behind early in the first quarter but were able to swing things their way and tie the game right before halftime. The Dogs held Melrose to nine points in the second quarter to knot the game at 25 at half.
Paynesville came out firing in the third, outscored Melrose 18-14 in the quarter, and took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Their lead grew to as much as eight points in the fourth, but Melrose came back, hitting a shot to tie the game at 53 with one minute and one second left on the clock.
After a timeout to talk things over. the Bulldogs got the ball inbounds and held it until there was about 20 seconds left on the clock. Instead of a winning shot, though, a tipped pass led to a turnover and a foul. Melrose made one free throw to take a one-point lead, and the Dogs couldn't get it back despite all efforts.
It was an exciting game but unfortunately the wrong team came out on top in the eyes of Bulldog players and fans.
Three players scored in double figures for Paynesville: Andy Jones with 15; T. J. Schultz with 11; and Wes Lieser with 10. Schultz added eight rebounds. Logan Louis had four assists and three steals, and J.T. Koehn blocked six shots.
The Bulldogs play Albany at home on Thursday. They also host St. Cloud Cathedral on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Come cheer on the Dogs!
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