Bridgeport outlasts Cameron, 55-49
WOLFHURST – It felt like Bridgeport was in control throughout Saturday afternoon’s game against Cameron.
But, each time you looked up at the scoreboard the Dragons were down by just a handful and far from out of it.
However, the Bulldogs were able to make enough plays and get enough production down the stretch to avenge an earlier setback and take another big step toward wrapping up a spot in the OVAC Tournament by virtue of a 55-49 victory inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.
“We extended (the lead) a couple of times, but then we just got lackadaisical on both ends of the floor,” said Bridgeport head coach Donnie Cash. “It wasn’t pretty, but we grinded one out.”
The Bulldogs were completing a three-games in three-day stretch and playing a day game after a night game. The Dragons had heavy legs of their own after making better than a four-hour trip to Buffalo, W.Va. to take part in the WVHIT at Hurricane High School.
“We didn’t finish most of our shots or sets inside,” said Cameron head coach Chad Clutter. “We’re still a little bit rusty. We got to practice (last) Thursday for the first time in two weeks and then had that road trip (on Friday). I don’t like make excuses, but we’re still knocking the rust off and we’re still in good shape.”
Bridgeport made a significant run in each quarter, but each time watched the Dragons chip away.
Despite scoring the game’s first seven points, Bridgeport watched Cameron roar back to take a 10-9 lead after one.
The Bulldogs stretched to a 10-point lead early in the second, but Cameron, which didn’t record a field goal in the second quarter, was down only five at 22-17 at halftime.
After Koty Seevers cashed a triple from the wing in the third, the Bulldogs had built their biggest margin at 14. That bonus goal capped a 13-4 run to begin the half. Bridgeport eventually led 37-28 at the final stop.
“We made key plays when we had to,” Cash said. “We had some mental breakdowns, which we just can’t afford. Come tournament time, those will come back to bite you.”
Cameron (6-6) got within three twice in the fourth. Ryan Cluter, who drilled a trio of treys in the fourth, dialed one in to make it 39-36. The teams traded twos, but Bridgeport proceeded to score the next 10.
J.C. Cash, a cousin to the head coach, scored eight in the fourth. He led all scorers in the game with 19.
Cameron got as close as four, but Cash got behind the Dragons’ pressure for a layup, which sealed the deal for the hosts.
Seevers scored 15 in top support of Cash. Junior Bailey McGrath hit four triples and finished with 13.
Those guys picked up the scoring load as post player Parker Dyson scored only eight and Q.J. Williams, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, was held scoreless.
“We had guys step it up,” Coach Cash said. “J.C. has played well the last three nights, Bailey shot well again and Koty played well. We just can’t fall asleep on offense and defense. We did that and Cameron made runs, so give them credit.”
Cameron was paced by Clutter’s 17 points.
Bridgeport has a three-game week upcoming. It begins Tuesday with a trip to Steubenville Central and then it treks to Barnesville the following night before visiting Bellaire on Friday.
“I think we’re in good shape for the OVAC Tournament, and that was one of our goals from day one (of the season),” Cash explained. Scoring:
CAMERON (49) – R. Clutter 5, 4-4 17; C. Clutter 3, 0-1 7; Hall 3, 3-3 9; Williams 2, 4-5 8; Rout 1, 1-2 3; Canas 2, 0-0 5; Pegg 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 16, 12-15 49. BRIDGEPORT (55) – Seevers 4, 5-7 15; Cash 7, 5-6 19; McGrath 4, 1-2 13; Williams 0, 0-0 0; Dyson 3, 2-3 8; Seiber 0, 0-0 0; Herink 0, 0-0 0; Pyatt 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 18, 13-18 55.
3-point goals: C – R. Clutter (3), C. Clutter. B – Seevers (2), McGrath (4).