The North Zulch Bulldogs split tournament play at Fayetteville over the weekend, 2-2, bringing their overall record to 7-6.
The Bulldogs played a strong first half vs. Iola on Thursday but stumbled in the final quarter as the Iola team outscored them 21-7, bringing the final score to 56-41.
“We battled hard the whole game, down by one going into the fourth,” said Head Coach David Graves. “We had four costly turnovers resulting in 11 points at the beginning of the fourth. We just need to protect the ball a little better. I think we gave them the game, but they played well every quarter and battled. They are big inside and just wear you down in the middle.”
The Bulldogs played back-to-back games on Friday, Dec. 11, taking a win over Round Top Carmine and a loss to Mumford.
North Zulch posted 56 points in the Mumford game but fell short, 75-56.
“We lost Trey Crocker in the middle of the first and all of the second quarter,” Graves said. “It killed us not having him on the floor for the first half because he is our tempo guy and leader. We just can’t give up 22 points in the first quarter and only score 11. The rest of the game from there, quarter to quarter, was about even. Mumford is a good team and I was happy we battled with them.”
The Bulldogs mounted a comeback as they faced Round Top Carmine and defeated the Cubs, 66-45.
“We all played well and rebounded well,” Graves said. “It was nice to see them fight and play well, finding the open man and playing great man-to-man defense. We had four players shooting in double digits and our role players did their part too. Round Top is down and lost six seniors last year but it is good to see them battle every game.”
Sophomore Gerhart Wiese had an impressive 15 points and 13 rebounds.
“I think Round Top played tough and never went away from their system,” Graves said. “They stuck to their guns and I thank them for challenging us.”
North Zulch wrapped up the tournament with a 64-52 upset over Fayetteville.
“This game was tough, ending the first quarter 12-11, and the battle stayed steady,” Graves said. “With Fayetteville, it’s a battle on the boards and guarding the three-point line the whole game. They will shoot it like crazy. I think we played well and ended the tournament on a high note. Now we need to carry that into the last week before Christmas break.”
Coach Graves thanked Fayetteville for hosting the tournament.
“It challenged my guys and we got better,” he said. “I also think Coach Blake and that young team will be really good next year.”
The Bulldogs played at Somerville on Tuesday and face Thrall at home on Friday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m.
Dec. 12 vs. Fayetteville
NZ 21 15 18 10 64
F’ville 18 9 8 17 52
Points: Hans Osth 13; Tye Douga 11; Gerhart Wiese 19; Cole Weaver 8.
Rebounds: Hans Osth 8; Tye Douga 4; Gerhart Wiese 12.
Dec. 11 vs. Round Top Carmine
North Zulch 65
Round Top Carmine 44
Points: Hans Osth 11; Cole Weaver 13; Tye Douga 14; Gerhart Wiese 15.
Rebounds: Hans Osth 7; Gerhart Wiese 13.
Dec. 11 vs. Mumford
NZ 11 11 16 18 -56
Mumford 22 18 17 18 -75
Points: Tye Douga 14; Cole Weaver 11; Gerhart Wiese 12; Hans Osth 9.
Dec. 10 vs. Iola
North Zulch 7 10 17 7 -41
Iola 9 14 12 21 -56
Points: Hans Osth 14; Gerhart Wiese 10; Tye Douga 8; Weston Wolf 6.
Rebounds: Hans Osth 10; Gerhart Wiese 10; Tye Douga 5; Weston Wolf 4.