The Bulldogs boys basketball team continues to struggle as the season

winds to a close.

The Bulldogs lost to Baker County, 70-55 Jan. 18 but suffered a disappointing loss to Lafayette in Mayo, 52 - 53, Jan. 19 and a blowout at Fort White the following night, 76-39. Baker Wildcats

On Thursday, Jan. 18, the Dogs traveled to Baker County to take on the

resurgent Bobcats. Martello complimented Baker County head coach Charles Ruise. “Coach Ruise runs a quality program,” he said. “You can always expect his teams to be ready to compete by the end of each

season, no matter what his talent level that year.”

The Dogs played well in the first half — down by five at the end of the

first, but only down 25-23 at the half. The Dogs were dismal from

the line in the first half, shooting nine and hitting zero. Martello claims

he mentioned the law of odds and probabilities at halftime, and that “the odds are we would hit our next nine as we’re a slightly better than 55 percent free throw shooting team.” The odds held true as the Bulldogs hit 12 of their 14 attempts in the second half.

The Dogs were down eight at the end of the third period, 44-36, but Baker hit its free throw attempts in the fourth in route to the 70-55 final.

Marcus Walker was the leading scorer for Suwannee with 19. Scott Butler filled in a gap for the Bulldogs, hitting his season high 14.

Jay Chambers pitched in eight, Frank Snead, Jr. seven (all in the fourth quarter), Alex Fountain, Kwone Matthews and Sharrod Lee each scored two and Chauncey Young topped off the scoring with a free throw.

Lafayette Hornets

The following night the Bulldogs made the short trip to Mayo and lost a heartbreaker at the buzzer, 53-52. The contest was close throughout, with

Lafayette leading by one after the first, 10-9, 27-19 at the half and by five after the third, 44-39. The Dogs kept it close in the fourth and took

the lead at just the right time. With roughly three minutes to play, the Dogs had cut the lead to two, 45-43. The Hornets hit a free throw and a quick basket to go up 48-43. Suwannee then went on a 6-0 run.

After a Kwone Matthew miss, Sharrod Lee hit a 10 foot putback shot from the short corner. Marcus Walker then hit an up and under move to cut the lead to one, and after a Mayo miss, Matthews hit a circus lay-up to go up by one, 49-48. Walker added one of two free throws to give the Dogs a two point lead, 50 - 48. On the rebound, an over-the-back call gave

Lafayette a bonus free throw. You make the first and you get a

second attempt. Edwards made both ends of the bonus to tie the score at 50.

An errant turnover and foul at midcourt gave the Hornets an opportunity to retake the lead. Mayo’s shooter, Sellers, coolly stepped forward and sank both ends of the bonus and Mayo lead by two, 52-50.

Marcus Walker took the ball the length of the floor and scored, tying the game with less than four seconds remaining. Lafayette quickly

threw the ball down court to a streaking Sellers who was fouled as time

expired. The officials confer for a couple of minutes, then determine that the foul was before the buzzer and award Sellers his two shot penalty. He missed the first, but Suwannee’s hopes sank as he drained the second to give Lafayette the one point win.

Fort White Indians

On Saturday, Jan. 20, the Bulldogs traveled to Fort White to take a quality team in this year’s Indians. They were defeated again, this time by a wide margin, 76-39, dropping the Dogs to 4-15.

According to Martello, the Bulldogs were “disjointed, not united in our purpose.” He complimented Fort White. “They have some of the chemistry

that you see in Donovan’s Florida team this year and last,” he said.

No one scored in double digits for the Bulldogs, but seven different players scored. Scott Butler led the way with nine. Alex Fountain, Frank Snead, Jr., and Marcus Walker all had six. Jay Chambers and Ryan Hight had five each and Kwone Matthews finished with a bucket.

Commenting on the season thus far, coach Chris Martello said that “the team is struggling to find its identity. Hopefully, by

the season’s end and the district tournament, we can fill in the gaps and play to our potential. I’ve seen some good things from Scott Butler and from Sharrod Lee, in particular.”

The Dogs were scheduled to end the season with a five game home stand beginning Friday, Jan. 26. against Madison. See Friday’s Democrat for a report.

The district tournament will be held at Ridgeview this year starting Tuesday, Feb. 6. The Dogs’ opponent is yet to be determined.

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