The Hitchcock Bulldogs advanced the Region III-3A quarterfinals behind Earnest Triplett’s 32 points in the defeat of the District 21-3A champion Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans, 84-73, on Friday at Channelview High School.
“He’s very important to us,” said Hitchcock’s head coach Chris Jordan said of Triplett. “He’s came back this year and everything he gets, he deserves. Sometimes when John (Scott) is not having a good day, he has to step up and that’s definitely what he did for us tonight.”
The Bulldogs turned their play around in the second half after being outhustled to every loose ball and rebound in the first half.
“Intensity and rebounding,” said Jordan was the message at halftime. “We gave up a lot of second-chance points.”
The Bulldogs were down by one-point at the end of the first quarter.
The Trojans began the second quarter on a 9-2 run, which put the Bulldogs down by eight. The Bulldogs’ pressure started to get to the Trojans causing turnovers. Scott made a layup at the buzzer to tie the game at 41-41 at the half.
The Bulldogs began to put the Trojans in foul trouble in the third quarter, giving two of the Trojans’ starters four fouls. The Bulldogs would take advantage by getting out on the fast break. The Bulldogs took a 63-60 lead into the final quarter.
“We were able to wear them down just enough to get a lead and hold on to it,” said Jordan. “We just kept playing and kept the pressure on them.”
The Bulldogs ran away from the Trojans in the fourth quarter after the Trojans’ Duke Lawniczak fouled out. The Bulldogs’ caused countless turnovers which led to easy baskets for Davanta Scott and Triplett.
The Bulldogs missed 15 free throws throughout the game that could’ve sealed the game a little sooner for the Bulldogs.
“We practice free throws every day,” said Jordan. “That’s just a mental thing, we are not going to win in the next round if we miss 14 free throws.”
The Trojans were led by Jacoby Bishop, who finished with 29 points. The Trojans’ Ed Levi chipped in 20 points along with Lawniczak’s 12 points.
John Scott finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Davanta Scott added 19 points, while Travonte Jones added 11 points.
Hitchcock faces Kountze in the regional quarterfinals at a time, date and location to be determined.