As so often happens on Senior Night, someone other than one of those honored steals the show.
Behind Parker Dyson's triple-double, homestanding Bridgeport sent its four seniors out in style with a 72-46 rout of Bellaire on Frank Baxter Court inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs' 6-5 sophomore scored 22 points, yanked down 11 rebounds and swatted away 10 shots as the hosts ran away early and never looked back.
BRIDGEPORT’S Parker Dyson goes up for a shot during Friday’s game against Bellaire. Dyson finished with a triple-double, including 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"It feels pretty good," Dyson said after his outstanding effort. "All of the hard work in practice paid off tonight."
Bridgeport head coach Donnie Cash praised the effort of his lanky southpaw. It was the first triple-double recorded by a Bulldog player in Cash's tenure.
"He's played well the last two games. We're hard on him in practice because we know of the potential he has. He showed what he can do tonight," Cash said. "But, he's young and he's got to realize that he can't settle for this. He has to continually get better every game."
After Kenny Hess gave Bellaire (3-16) a 1-0 lead 30 seconds into the contest, Bridgeport ran off the next 12 as Dyson and classmate QJ Williams evenly divided the counters. The duo would team for 14 in the quarter as the hosts led 17-7.
Williams, who finished one point behind Dyson, netted eight points in the second frame, while Dyson contributed six as the margin grew to 36-19 at the half.
Nathan Steele kept the Big Reds in the game as he connected on a trio of triples in the period.
Seniors Ryan Kreiter and Dallas Fields combined for 14 of Bridgeport's 24 third-quarter markers to bump the count to 60-36 after three panels.
Steele drilled three more trifectas in the third quarter and added another in the fourth, along with a pair of conventional baskets to finish with a game-high 25 points.
Hess added 11 as the only other Bellaire player with more than three points.
"They played really well tonight," Bellaire head coach J.R. Battista said of Bridgeport. "Their (2-3) zone gave us a lot of trouble, and they made their shots."
Indeed they did.
"We had a couple good days of practice this week," Cash allowed. "I liked how we shared the ball and everyone contributed. The one thing I've noticed the last few games is how we've limited our turnovers. That gives us more possessions on offense."
The Bulldogs tickled the twine on 30 of 55 attempts for a nifty 55 percent. Dyson (10-for-13) and Williams (10-for-11) led the way.
"We shot the ball well. I thought we let down there early, but like I told them, 'It's human nature when you look up and you're ahead by 20 points. You might not play as hard, but working towards the tournament we have to play hard for four quarters."
In addition to Dyson and Williams, Fields added nine and Kreiter eight.
Bridgeport held a slim, 40-36, edge off the glass behind Dyson's yeoman's effort. Williams snagged seven. Hess had seven and Steele six for Bellaire.
Bridgeport had 10 turnovers, nine less than Bellaire.
The Bulldogs claimed the JV contest to complete the sweep.
Bridgeport remains at home today when Frontier visits for a 4 p.m. JV tip.
BELLAIRE (46) - Steele 9 0-0 25; Westlake 1 1-2 3; Back 1 0-0 3; Patrone 0 1-4 1; Ke. Hess 4 3-6 11; Callarik 0 0-0 0; Ramsay 0 0-0 0; Pickens 0 1-2 1; Ky. Hess 0 0-0 0; Kovalyk 1 0-0 2; Hall 0 0-0 0; Bentz 0 0-0 0; Totals: 16-50 6-14. BRIDGEPORT (72) - Roth 1 1-2 3; Fields 4 1-2 9; Kreiter 2 2-2 8; Williams 10 1-5 21; Dyson 10 2-2 22; Teeman 1 2-2 4; McGrath 2 0-0 5; Cash 0 0-0 0; Seevers 0 0-0 0; Bogoni 0 0-3 0; McDonnell 0 0-0 0; Sieber 0 0-0 0; Totals: 30-55 9-18.
Three-Point Goals: Bellaire 8 (Steele 7, Back); Bridgeport 3 (Kreiter 2, McGrath)
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