The Bulldogs started strong, taking a 6-4 lead in the early going. The Dragons led 19-11 with just over a minute left in the first quarter, but scored five points quickly at the end.
The Dragons' full-court pressure and half-court man-to-man defense took a toll on the Bulldogs in the second and third quarters. The Dragons' edge in the second quarter was 29-6 to take a halftime lead of 53-17. In the third, the Dragons outscored the Bulldogs 34-4.
The Bulldogs won the fourth quarter 15-12, but Litchfield played its third string for those eight minutes.
The Dragons, who were undefeated last year until sections, had five players score in double figures, led by junior guard Mike Patten with 21 and freshman 6'4" forward John Carlson with 20. Senior guard Alex Carlson had 14 points, four assists, and five steals.
For the Bulldogs, Luc Trees had 15 points and three steals. Ryan Wall had seven points and eight rebounds. Logan Louis had five assists and three steals.
Litchfield dropped a class this year and are now in the same subsection as the Bulldogs for basketball.
Eden Valley-Watkins 59
The Bulldogs had a disappointing loss to the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles on Saturday night by a score of 59-48.
With a tough conference schedule looming, the Bulldogs were eager to get a win in this nonconference game.
The Eagles played good man-to-man defense and rebounded well as a team despite lacking the height of the Bulldogs' frontline. In the first half, they opened a ten-point lead as the Bulldogs struggled to score points. Paynesville scored just six points in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs made only six of 16 lay-ups in the first half. For the game, they shot 20 of 61 from the floor, while the Eagles shot 20 of 43.
The Bulldogs rallied in the third quarter and had the lead cut to seven, but the Eagles hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to keep their ten-point lead.
The Bulldogs found their offense in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles made their foul shots to secure the victory.
Dustin Schoenecker and Kyle Brulla led the Eagles with 21 and 20 points respectively. Each had nine rebounds and two three-pointers. Schoenecker added seven assists.
For the Bulldogs, senior post Ryan Wall almost had a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and nine blocked shots. J.T. Koehn had nine rebounds. The Bulldogs had a 38-35 advantage on the boards, but yielded 15 offensive rebounds, including 11 in the second half.
The Bulldogs played at Annandale last night. They will host Melrose on Saturday, with the C-squad and B-squad starting at 1:30 p.m. The varsity should start around 3 p.m. The Timberwolves mascot, Crunch, will perform at halftime of the varsity game. Next Tuesday, Jan. 25, the boys will play at Albany.
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