December 10, 2009

LaPlata Launches Huge 4th Quarter Rally to Best Tigers

After a big first period, Scotland County appeared to have grounded Birdie Buck and the LaPlata Bulldogs in the championship game of the Novinger Tournament on Saturday. But Buck and his teammates took flight in the fourth period, exploding for 31 points to overcome a 12-point deficit in the final eight minutes and fly away with a 51-37 win and the tourney title.

Buck hit three shots from behind the arc in the first period to keep LaPlata close. Cody Taft had a pair of first period scores and Kasey Dial hit a three pointer for the Tigers who led 11-10 at the end of one period.

Neither team got much offense going in the second period. Harley Stone had a pair of buckets in the paint as the Tigers worked to get the ball inside. Dakota Wells connected on a jumper from the corner with 2:10 left in the first period to make the score 19-15. The Tigers made just three of six free throw attempts in the period but still led 20-15 at the break courtesy of stifling defense.

That effort carried over into the third period. Dial hit back-to-back three pointers to open the second half forcing a LaPlata time out with 4:47 on the clock and SCR-I on top 26-15.

Brandon Garnett scored on an offensive rebound and followed that up with a hoop on a drive to the basket extending the margin to 32-20 at the end of three periods.

But LaPlata turned the tables in the fourth, switching to a full-court press that SCR-I had no answer for. SCR-I turnovers opened the flood gates for Buck and his teammates, who canned five three pointers to complete an improbable comeback.

The Bulldogs made a 14-0 run to open the fourth period. Taft finally broke the rally with a driving score that tied the contest at 34-34 with 5:01 left.

LaPlata closed the game with a 17-3 run to claim the tourney championship.

Garnett led Scotland County (2-1) with 13 points. Dial finished with nine points and Taft added seven.

Buck led all scorers with 23 points, including six three pointers.

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