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Bears beat Bulldogs in convincing league win

Alex Kielar
Posted 2/9/24

LAKE HUNTINGTON – On Tuesday night, the Tri-Valley Bears visited the Sullivan West Bulldogs for a key battle of two Class B schools. The Bears entered the game with a record of 10-5 (3-3), …

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Bears beat Bulldogs in convincing league win


LAKE HUNTINGTON – On Tuesday night, the Tri-Valley Bears visited the Sullivan West Bulldogs for a key battle of two Class B schools. The Bears entered the game with a record of 10-5 (3-3), while the Bulldogs entered with a record of 4-10 (2-5). 

The Bears pounced on the Bulldogs and emphatically took home a 74-48 victory. 

Tri-Valley came out swinging as they jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. Sullivan West was kept off the scoreboard until more than two minutes into the action before Matt DuBois hit a three-pointer to make it 8-3. 

The Bears kept attacking and expanded their lead to 14-3 before Sullivan West took their first timeout with 3:10 remaining in the opening quarter. Then at the end of the quarter, Tri-Valley was up, 21-8.

“What we’ve been working on this year is coming out strong to start games,” Tri-Valley Coach Kevin Delaney said. “So with an away league game that has always been a rivalry game, we knew we had to come out with some energy. That was our goal, to play hard early and see where the game kind of took us from there.”

The lead grew even more throughout the second quarter, as the Bears were leading 48-16 at halftime. Tri-Valley dropped 27 points in the second quarter while holding the Bulldogs to just eight points in each of the first two quarters. 

Sullivan West began to break into the deficit somewhat in the third quarter, as they outscored the Bears, 16-7, but were still down by a score of 55-32. Tri-Valley put the game back to well out of reach in the fourth quarter as they scored 19 points, with five different players scoring, while holding the Bulldogs to 10 points. 

Leading Sullivan West in scoring was Brandon Haass, who scored 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half and a majority on second-chance looks. Also scoring double digits was Evan Ebert, who scored 11 points. 

“We needed to get back in transition and stop the easy stuff,” Sullivan West Coach Ronj Padu said. “They had too many second chance opportunities. Just things that we can’t have like letting easy buckets up at the rim.”

Sullivan West also had a lot of turnovers throughout the game which led to easy baskets for the Bears, which Padu said was them “not cherishing the ball.”

“We just give it up way too easily,” said Padu. “We work on it, but obviously it’s different in a game situation. Still gotta work on it.”

Tri-Valley had four players reach double digits in scoring out of the five players who scored for them. Matt Fanslau and Boe Mueller each led the Bears with 19 points, while Misha Khodakovski scored 18 and Josh Fanslau scored 16. Of Mueller’s 19 points, 15 came on five three-pointers, three in the first half and two in the second half. The other scorer for the Bears was Austin Swett, who scored four points. 

“We had a little extra motivation,” Coach Delaney said. “We lost to them early in the season at home, coming out of [Winter] break. We hadn’t played in three weeks, we had a couple of guys sick and we probably played our worst game of the season. So our guys were a bit more amped up to get one back.”

Coach Delaney also said that they are hoping to go on a good run to end the season as they are still in contention for a home Sectional game. 

“That was one of our goals coming into the season, to make Sectionals in Class B,” Delaney said. “Class B is very competitive this year, so the better seed we can get hopefully the better draw we get.”


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