Bulldogs start with win
MANCHESTER --Up by over 20 points in the fourth quarter, a large segment of the Burr and Burton Academy student body that was in attendance cheered loudly for each new substitute that boys basketball coach Dave Shehadi sent onto the floor.
In front of a near capacity crowd the Bulldogs (21-0) routed North Country (7-14) 78-54 in the first round of the Division I playoffs on Tuesday night.
BBA's Joey Shehadi led the Bulldogs with 30 points -- 18 of which came in the first half.
After a field goal by Conor Harrington got the Bulldogs on the board, Shehadi hit back to back 3-pointers -- two of his four in the quarter -- forcing the Falcons coach Ed Duncan to take a timeout.
"They're our captains and they got us going quickly," said Dave Shehadi of Joey Shehadi and Harrington. "So, they came out and I thought the intensity was very good early. Connor was all over the glass and Joey was banging down threes and we got some separation. It's a pretty solid club we have."
The Falcons were unable to contain Joey Shehadi all night as he created a perpetual headache for the defense.
"I think number 10 (Joey Shehadi) hurt us. We weren't ready for him coming out and shooting off the dribble," said Duncan. "We knew that he was a good shooter, but we just weren't ready for it."
With 3:10 left to go in the quarter Tyeshawn Gadson split the defense and scored on a pretty up and under layup in the lane to cap a 21-7 BBA run.
Harrington -- who also had 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks on the night -- took the lead in the second period scoring 9 of his 13 points.
After Joey Shehadi put the Bulldogs on top 32-14 with a layup, the Falcons went on an 8-1 run behind 3 pointers from Matthew Duncan and Chris Clowery and field goal by center Collin Myrick to pull within 11 points.
The lead did not last long though as Harrington made a layup and Joey Shehadi capped off the first half by going four for four from the line to put the Bulldogs out in front 40-23.
In the third quarter it was the Joey Shehadi show. Shehadi had 12 points in the third quarter -- two of which were converted three point plays -- helping BBA outscore the Falcons 24-8 in the third quarter to take a 64-31 into the final frame.
Shortly after the start of the fourth quarter, Dave Shehadi had pulled all of his starters -- allowing every member of the team to get some playing time.
"That's wonderful. The kids work hard all year and we try to get everybody minutes whenever we can," said Dave Shehadi. "They had the crowd behind them and those kids play hard. So, I'm very happy when I can get everyone in."
North Country's Tyler Jenne and Rejean Roberge lead the way for the Falcons, scoring 13 points each and Myrick had 12. Joey Shehadi also added 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 assists in the win.
Burr and Burton will face the winner of Mount Anthony Union High School (11-9) and Bellows Free Academy (11-9) in the quarterfinals at BBA on Friday -- something Dave Shehadi said he was pleased about.
"We're happy to be home. That's what we played for," said Dave Shehadi. "Our gym and our crowd I think gives us and advantage."
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