The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs started their season in Springer last Friday. Both teams came up short. The Bulldogs lost 77-74 while the Lady Bulldogs lost 58-38.
“This was our first game and their sixth, so we weren’t in peak game shape. Our legs got tired,” head coach Jackson Embry said.
It was a close matchup, with the Cardinals outscoring Wayne 25-21 after the first quarter, despite Kaleb Madden going off for 11 points and Colton Sweetman hitting two threes.
But, Wayne held the Cardinals to minimal second quarter scoring and pulled ahead 35-32 at the end of the first half.
Once again, Wayne outscored Springer 24-15 in the third to hold a 59-47 lead going into the final stanza.
Post Wyatt Webster had been clutch on defense, holding Springer’s second best scorer in check. But, when Webster fouled out in the fourth, Wayne did not have another answer.
But, Springer spread their scoring around and had 30 fourth quarter points to Wayne’s 15.
“Anytime you score 74 points you put yourself in a position to win, but our defense, what we hang our hat on, fell off in the fourth quarter.
“We had only three guys with game experience return, and that showed in this game. We missed 14 free throws in the fourth quarter so the guys held each other accountable for that in the locker room after the game.”
Madden led all scorers with 29 points, including five treys.
Jaxon Dill and Webster each had 14 while Taylon Bryant scored 10.
Embry feels more comfortable at the helm in his second season as the head coach at Wayne.
He said that the biggest strength of his team is their unity.
“We are a player-led team and leadership is big among the team. The guys are bought in and hold each other accountable.”
Though some experience was lost to graduation Embry feels that his younger guys will step up for the Bulldogs.
“We’re faster this year and have a deeper bench. We have 10 to 11 guys that can play at anytime without a drop off.
“Defense will be a key for us. If we can play good defense and communicate, we’ll win a bunch of games.”
Wayne will be back on the court at ECP on November 29 and host Indiahoma on December 2. The 2012 State Champion Fast-pitch team will be honored that night as well.
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