BULLDOGS START STRONG FOR EASY VICTORY OVER DURANT
By Mike Talbert
NEW ALBANY The New Albany Bulldogs reversed their script of recent days Saturday night, and it paid big dividends for them.
Instead of playing from behind as they had three of the last four games, the Bulldogs tried it the other way around as they beat Durant 98-78 in the fourth game of the five-game New Albany Kiwanis Hot Bed Classic.
Their man defense startled the Durant Tigers and turned the 15-3 team inside out in the first five minutes. New Albany jumped off to an 18-0 lead and then survived a third-period surge.
“I don’t believe they were ready for our pressure,” said New Albany guard Shawn High, who scored 30 points. “I didn’t expect to stop them that well.”
During that 18-point run, New Albany (22-2), the area’s No. 1 team, forced six turnovers and Durant missed five shots.
When Durant started hitting, it was too late.
Durant coach Danny Robertson said, “New Albany is too good a team for us to get down. When we had that run in the second half, they just shut it down. We were overmatched.”
The two teams played fairly equal once the Tigers started hitting, especially Durant’s top scorer, Torry Potee. Potee was shut out as New Albany opened a 27-9 first quarter lead . However, he finished with 23 points.
Durant, which had trailed by as many as 24 points in the second quarter, opened the third period by outscoring the Bulldogs 13-4 to cut the lead to 12 points, 57-45.
“We were just kind of setting back on our heels, but we got the big eyes and started bearing down,” High said.
Richard Harris, who finished with 17 points, scored six points as the Bulldogs quickly pushed back to an 18-point lead.
“Durant has a good ball club, and a good ball club is going to make a run,” New Albany coach Warner Bradford said. “Our kids just played hard. Our defense was the key.”
Cedric Lipsey added 13 points and center Bradley Jones 12 for New Albany. Demetrick Winters scored 12 points and Chris Campbell 11 for Durant.
Bradford said the one-sided start may have been helped because, “When kids get an early lead they just relax and just play their game. Of course sometimes they relax too much.”
But not Saturday.