Bulldogs roll to win in first game over North Collins

Brocton’s Darien Booker (right) floats a shot over Robinson for a score.

BROCTON — The Brocton Bulldogs opened up their season Thursday as they hosted the North Collins Eagles in a non-league Section VI boys basketball matchup. The Bulldogs opener was a grand success as they cruised by the visiting Eagles, 55-28.

Both teams started off a little slow as they felt out how one another would play. Opening scores were slowly exchanged from the foul line and in the paint. The Bulldogs soon began to implement their full court press, which caused a lot of trouble for the Eagles on transition.

“One thing I’ve seen in my four or five years at Brocton, I have never seen a Brocton team press,” said Brocton coach Colin Mulcahy. “I know most teams won’t expect the press coming from us. So when we ran that 1-2-2 press I knew that was going to fuel our offense coming from our defensive stop.”

Late into the first quarter Brocton found themselves up 11-4. Each side early missed a lot of shots, which was a sign that it was just the first quarter of the season. The first quarter came to a close with Brocton up 14-8.

The second quarter was where the Bulldogs offense came alive as they exploded on a quick run of five forcing North Collins to take a timeout.

“We came out with a lot of energy. I think playing in front of our home crowd our opening game of the season,” said coach Mulcahy. “We came out with a lot of energy, a lot of intensity, the kids were feeding off the crowd a little bit.”

After the timeout their run continued to ten before the Eagles could respond. Eventually the Bulldogs found themselves up 30-11 with two minutes left in the half.

The intense off the ball play by Brocton was a direct cause to their success as they were taking away lanes and forcing bad plays by North Collins.

“I thought that we didn’t play as well as we could,” said North Collins coach Jan Warren. “We turned the ball over way too much, fouled way too much. Our guards have to do a better job handling the ball and handling the pressure, we have to get better at it if we want to win some ball games.”

The score at half was 37-12, Brocton on top.

The second half began similar to the first, as both teams came out slow and struggled in making some baskets. The defense was more evident as both teams did a better job of gapping up and taking away space. North Collins best run of the game came in the third as Tyler Robinson and Christian Lorretto combined for six points, forcing Brocton to take a timeout.

“I like Tyler Robinson, the way he played, I liked the way Christian Loretto played especially going to the basket,” said coach Warren.

The Bulldogs came out of the timeout re-energized, getting back to their form and playing strong defensively. Brocton’s tough coverage clearly was frustrating the Eagles, as North Collins made some bad turnovers and ran into some foul trouble. After three quarters the Eagles trailed, 53-21.

“Our defense really helped us win this game, so I am very impressed with our defense and what we were able to do with that press early on in the game,” said coach Mulcahy.

In the final quarter the pace slowed down a bit as both teams started to utilize more of their benches. The Eagles outscored Brocton in the final frame, 7-2. The Eagles late push showed the team’s fight and that they wouldn’t give up in the face of a big deficit.

“We need to work on our defense, boxing out, rebounding, getting the ball to the right player at the right time — that’s what we have to work on,” said coach Warren.

The final score was 55-28, Bulldogs.

The Eagles (0-1) are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Eden.

Brocton (1-0) is scheduled to travel to North Collins next Friday, to finish off their home and home series with the Eagles.

“I think we were prepared for this team and I think they played very well for our first game this season,” said coach Mulcahy. “I was very impressed with this team. They have worked very hard. They earned this win and I think we have a great season ahead of us with the guys we have.”