Bulldogs sweep tough trio

The Lovell Bulldogs put together three solid games to launch the New Year over the weekend, stopping Greybull in Friday night’s conference-opener, 55-39, beating Tongue River in Dayton Saturday, 69-56, and crushing Wright in Sheridan Saturday night, 58-30.

Colin May drives strong to the basket in Lovell’s 55-39 win over the Greybull Buffaloes Friday night in Lovell. David Peck photo

A strong defensive effort paved the way in Friday night’s convincing win over a talented Greybull team that came into the game with an 8-2 overall record. The Bulldogs forced 22 turnovers and had 18 steals.

“Our kids were determined defensively,” coach Brian May said. “What worked for us were our defensive rotations in our presses. They had a hard time getting the ball up the floor and that created some turnover opportunities for us.

“In our man defense I thought our kids were really communicating well, making it difficult for them to execute. One thing that helped us on the defensive end, too, was that we weren’t giving up second-chance points. The kids did a pretty good job boxing out when there was a missed shot. When we get our transition game going that helps us get quick baskets and get into our pressure.”

Lovell came out strong against the Buffs and built a 14-0 lead before Neil Getzfreid broke the ice with a jumper. Colin May and Dylan Hultgren each had two baskets during the Lovell run. Lovell went on to lead 14-6 at the quarter break.

The two teams traded baskets during a somewhat sloppy second quarter as Lovell led 25-16 at intermission, then Lovell put the game away with a strong third quarter, finishing the quarter with a 10-4 run that boosted the Lovell lead to 16, 42-26, after three. The fourth was even at 13 points apiece.

Colin May finished with 15 points, Cody Savage 13 points and six rebounds and Hultgren 11 points and five steals. Ryan Clark had a strong all-around game with 8 points, seven rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots.

“I was impressed with our starting five and the three who rotated in,” May said. “There wasn’t a drop-off with our substitutes. They are so tenacious defensively that they keep the momentum going.”

May said Hultgren is gaining more confidence offensively, both with scoring and ball-handling.

The box score:

GREYBULL (39)

Payton Gonzales 1 1-1 3, Austin Frazier 4 0-0 11, Kason Clutter 2 0-0 5, Quinton Haley 0 2-4 2, Travis Sylvester 1 1-4 3, Neil Getzfreid 6 1-5 13, Hayden Goton 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 5-14 39.

LOVELL (55)

Colin May 6 2-2 15, Collin McArthur 0 1-2 1, Hunter Hinckley 1 0-0 3, McKayan May 2 0-0 4, Morgan Baxendale 0 0-0 0, Dylan Hultgren 4 2-2 11, Ryan Clark 4 0-2 8, Cody Savage 5 2-4 13, Austin Ellis 0 0-0 0, Brandon Wolvington 0 0-0 0, Jacob Adey 0 0-0 0, Calin McArthur 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-12 55.

Greybull 6 10 10 13 – 39

Lovell 14 11 17 13 – 55

Three-point field goals – Frazier 3, Clutter 1; C. May 1, Hinckley 1, Hultgren 1, Savage 1. Fouled out – Sylvester. Total fouls – Greybull 16, Lovell 15.

Solid win

At Dayton Saturday afternoon, the Tongue River Eagles tried a box-and-one defense against Lovell leading scorer Colin May in an attempt to slow him down.

It didn’t work. May scored a game-high 23 points and got the Bulldogs rolling in the first quarter with a trio of treys and 11 points in the quarter.

“They played it for a while, then bounced out of it,” Coach May said. “We told them to run their normal offense, though we did have someone set a high screen for him. We also had him swing the ball and go through the zone, which created some space when he got to the weak side.”

Meanwhile, at the other end of the court, the Bulldogs were trying to battle TR star Stephen Yellowtail. May said the Bulldogs pressured Yellowtail and got deflections, but the senior was getting to the loose balls first and got some easy looks off the scramble. The Bulldogs also used a man-to-man in the second half, but Yellowtail still got his points, finishing with 21.

Colin May’s 11 points helped propel the Bulldogs to a 21-16 lead after the first quarter, and they outscored the Eagles 17-11 in the second to lead 38-27 at halftime. TR won the third 15-11, but Lovell righted the ship with a 20-14 advantage in the fourth to win 69-56.

May finished with 23 points, Savage 16, Hultgren 12 and Clark 6. Clark grabbed seven rebounds, Hultgren and Savage six each, McKayan May five. Colin May and Hultgren had four assists each, and Hultgren led the team with six steals.

“They were physical with Cody,” May said. “He had bruises on his arms. But he kept battling.”

The box score:

LOVELL (69)

Colin May 7 5-7 23, Collin McArthur 1 0-0 2, Hunter Hinckley 1 0-0 2, McKayan May 2 0-0 4, Morgan Baxendale 1 0-0 2, Dylan Hultgren 4 2-2 12, Ryan Clark 3 0-0 6, Cody Savage 7 2-3 16, Austin Ellis 0 0-0 0, Brandon Wolvington 0 0-0 0, Jacob Adey 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 9-13 69.

T. RIVER (56)

Jacob Moore 3 3-10 10, Kyle McGaugh 0 0-0 0, Cody Jolovich 0 0-2 0, Stephen Yellowtail 8 4-4 21, Austin Rhork 0 1-2 1, Matt Yellowtail 3 0-0 7, Tanner Dockery 6 1-3 13, Austin Bolin 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 9-21 56.

Lovell 21 17 11 20 – 69

T. River 16 11 15 14 – 56

Three-point field goals – C. May 4, Hultgren 2; Moore 1, S. Yellowtail 1, M. Yellowtail 1. Fouled out – Moore. Total fouls – Lovell 19, TR 14.

Final win

In the weekend finale, Lovell rolled past Wright 58-30 at the Sheridan College Golden Dome Saturday night. Playing solid defense despite playing their second game of the day, the Bulldogs outscored the Panthers 11-6 in the first quarter and 20-12 in the second to lead 31-18 at the half, then put the clamps on Wright 15-2 in the third period to lead 46-20 after three before Coach May emptied the bench. Neither Savage nor Colin May played in the fourth quarter.

“What I liked was that our kids were fatigued but we maintained our defensive pressure in the full court,” May said. “Sometimes we had a hard time finishing shots, like after a steal, but eventually we did.”

Colin May finished with 19 points in three quarters of work, along with four assists and four steals. Baxendale added 8 points and four rebounds, Hultgren 8 points, six boards, three assists and four steals. Savage recorded 6 points and seven rebounds, McKayan May and Clark 4 points and six caroms each. Hinckley scored 6 points, and McArthur snared four steals.

The box score:

LOVELL (58)

Colin May 8 1-2 19, Collin McArthur 0 1-2 1, Hunter Hinckley 3 0-0 6, McKayan May 2 0-0 4, Morgan Baxendale 4 0-0 8, Dylan Hultgren 3 0-0 8, Ryan Clark 2 0-0 4, Cody Savage 1 4-6 6, Austin Ellis 0 0-0 0, Brandon Wolvington 0 0-0 0, Jacob Adey 0 0-0 0, Calin McArthur 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 6-10 58.

WRIGHT (30)

Felsman 3 0-0 7, Calvin 0 0-0 0, Worman 1 0-0 3, Jones 2 0-0 4, T. Benedict 7 2-4 16. Totals 13 2-4 30.

Lovell 11 20 15 12 – 58

Wright 6 12 2 10 – 30

Three-point field goals – C. May 2, Hultgren 2; Felsman 1, Worman 1. Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Lovell 12, Wright 11.

Game cancelled

Due to a scheduling conflict, Saturday night’s game at home against Wind River has been cancelled. The Cougars are playing Thermopolis Saturday afternoon instead. Athletic Director Joe Koritnik said the game is unlikely to be made up.

But the Bulldogs will host conference foe Thermopolis Friday at 4 (JV) and 7 p.m. Though just 1-11 on the season (a win over St. Stephen’s), the Bobcats are a quick team led by sharpshooter Tanner Abbott. May said Abbott is a slasher who can penetrate, and the Bobcats have some players who can pop outside to shoot the three-pointer and some inside presence, as well.

Tuesday, the Bulldogs will travel to Cody to meet the Class 3A Broncs at 4 (JV) and 7:30 p.m. Cody is 3-7 overall, 1-3 in the 3A West.

By David Peck

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