BBA gives Rutland all it can handle in 53-41 loss
Jamison Evans led the Raiders (20-0) with 30 points as Rutland, playing without one of their best players, swingman Noah Tyson, dug down in the second half to close out the Bulldogs in a game that was closer than the final score indicated.
Bryce Little led a balanced effort with 12 points for BBA (11-9).
The Bulldogs kept things close in the first half, trailing 12-10 after the first quarter and never letting Rutland pile up a big lead. But every time BBA crept within a few points, the Raiders responded.
BBA coach Eric Green said Rutland showed its mettle by getting stops and clutch baskets when needed in the second half to stop the upset bid. But he was very happy with his team's effort.
"They just know how to close out games," Green said. "Credit to them. I don't think we did anything to lose that game by any means."
Late in the first half, the Bulldogs took their only lead of the contest, 23-22, on a Patrick Forstmann 3-pointer. But Rutland's Jack Morgan responded with a 3-pointer of his own, as the Raiders went into halftime with a 30-27 advantage.
In the second half, when BBA went to a zone defense to try and counter the Raiders' size advantage, Rutland found Jared Nelson (14 points) down low or Evans for foul-line jumpers. A physical third quarter left Rutland with a 39-33 lead, and BBA could not close the gap in the fourth.
Every time Rutland needed a basket, Evans was there with a jumper or a 3-pointer, and Nelson fairly dominated the boards.
"I thought we showed good composure," Rutland coach Michael Wood said."We haven't been in a lot of close games recently .. our seniors stepped up and we made plays. We got some great stops at the defensive end."
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