The Altus Bulldogs can’t overcome big quarters from Elgin, fall 62-38

By Ryan Lewis -

The 2017-18 Altus Bulldogs basketball season began on Tuesday in Elgin where the team had to battle the Owls with one of its best players sidelined because of a knee injury.

Without Carson Pickett in the lineup, the Bulldogs struggled against a tough Elgin team, losing by 24 points thanks to a consistent Elgin attack that was spread throughout the first three quarters of action.

The 62-38 loss saw Elgin junior Dylan Burk score a team-high 13 points. The difference in the game for the Owls was multiple players helping along the way with Connor Slater scoring nine, Holden Bartosovsky scoring eight and Jeremiah Hawthorne scoring seven in the win.

The Owls wasted little time gaining control of the game, jumping ahead of Altus 6-0 before a Tim Gloria three pointer cut the Owls’ lead to three. But the Owls continued to pour in the points while limiting Altus to just three additional points to take a 19-6 lead into the second quarter.

The Bulldogs hung around with the Owls in the second quarter, scoring nine points to Elgin’s 13. Altus’ Davyjon Ford scored all eight of his points in the second, converting six of his 12 attempts at the free throw line while chipping in another two-point field goal.

Elgin regained control of the momentum and ran away with the game following halftime, outscoring the Bulldogs 23-5 in the third quarter to extend its lead to 55-20.

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs began to rally, tightening up on defense and leaning heavily on Hunter Webb to make in an attempt to come from behind for the win, but there was not enough time left on the clock, halting the team’s 18-7 run with Elgin winning 62-38.

One of the biggest difference makers for the two teams was turnovers. Altus had 21 and coach Brandon Kephart said the team is working on cleaning it up.

“Too many turnovers…” Kephart said, “and when you turn the ball over 21 times, you’re not going to win many games. But we also allowed too many second chance points and didn’t defend well. We hope to get it cleaned up and starting playing well, but the guys played hard and I’m incredibly proud of the way they played.”

Kephart also said having Pickett back will help the team.

“He had a good practice late in the week,” Kephart said. “He had an MRI just to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong and when you have a good doctor, that helps too.”

The Bulldogs struggled from the free throw line, converting just 13 of the team’s 25 attempts. Webb made three of his four attempts at the line and added six more points from two-point range, scoring all nine of his points in the fourth quarter.

Aside from Webb and Ford, Derek Beach and Camden Hammock each scored five points and Keegan Shive and Jordan Madison each had two in the game.

The Bulldogs played Duncan late Friday and travel to Weatherford on Dec. 12 to take on the Class 4A Eagles at 8 p.m.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

By Ryan Lewis

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

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