Continuing a tough non-district schedule, the Crockett Bulldogs came up short against Class 4A Madisonville 51-49 in their home debut Tuesday, Dec. 15.
With the game tied 43-all with 3:00 left, the Mustangs used clutch free throw shooting to pull ahead 50-43. Hitting 7 of 9 attempts at the line, Madisonville open up a seven-point edge with 19 seconds left.
The Bulldogs continued to battle and cut the lead to four on a 3-pointer by Leyth Jaber with 8.1 seconds left.
After the Mustangs picked up another point at the line for a five-point cushion, the Dogs worked the ball down the floor for a 3-point buzzer-beater by Rasheed Epps.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but trailed 12-10 at the end of the first.
The Mustangs came out strong in the second and used a 9-2 run to build a 21-12 lead midway through the quarter. The
Bulldogs closed out the second with a 9-3 run that cut Madisonville's lead to 24-21 at the break.
Trailing by 12 late in the third, the Bulldogs closed out the final 2:00 with a 7-0 run to make it a 37-32 ballgame. After
Lucky Daniels hit a bucket and free throw for a 3-point play, Deandre Anderson and Demarkus Griffen followed with baskets pulling the Bulldogs within five points at the end of three.
The Mustangs had first possession in the fourth and quickly went up by seven.
Crockett, however, rattled off seven unanswered points to knot the score at 39-all with 5:25 left. Daniels knocked down a 3-pointer, Epps scored after a steal, and Daniels hit a jumper from outside.
After the Mustangs went back up by four with 4:00 left, Griffen and Epps scored to tie the game at 43-all with 3:30 to go. Madisonville would pull away by hitting the seven free throws.
Epps finished as Crockett's top scorer with 11 points, followed by Daniels with 9, Jurmond Wooten with 6, Xavion Dixon 5, Derrick Sherman 4, Vunterrious Leonard 4, and Griffen 4. Jaber chipped in 3, Deandre Anderson 2 and Alton Owens 1.
Madisonville's Sam Bennett hit 11 of 12 free throws and finished with 16 points.
The Mustangs were 18 of 27 at the line while the Dogs were 6 of 12.
After their district opener against Westwood on Friday Dec. 18, the Bulldogs will be idle until the Houston County Tourney on Dec. 28-30.