BROCTON - Earlier this season the Brocton Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1) suffered their only loss at the hands of the Sherman Wildcats (11-4, 8-1), 49-45.
This time around the Bulldogs were ready for Sherman as they moved into a tie for the top spot in the CCAA Division 4 standings on Tuesday with an impressive 56-42 victory.
"It was a nice win for us," Brocton coach Jeff Franze said. "The crowd was into it, the coaches were into it. Our defense played great."
Brocton’s Dan Ferguson pulls down a rebound between Sherman’s Chris Greiner (20) and Jake Card during Tuesday’s Division 4 basketball game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by
The Bulldogs hopped out to an 8-0 lead before the Wildcats were able to sink a basket.
An aggressive Brocton defense held Sherman to just 10 points in the first quarter, with eight of those points coming from Andrew Graham, while the Bulldogs dominated the offensive boards to score 19.
''The biggest difference from the last time we played, to put it simple, is they played better and we played worse," Sherman coach Cory Emory said. "Brocton's senior leadership really showed. We have a younger team with mostly juniors and sophomores, but I think this game will help us pick up our intensity going towards the playoffs."
One of the biggest factors that kept the game close for the Wildcats in the second quarter was the number of fouls the Bulldogs picked up. Sherman was 9-for-15 from the charity stripe in the first half, while a number of Brocton players were forced to sit with foul trouble.
Jordan Patterson led the Bulldogs with 11 points, before picking up his third foul with 3:33 left to play in the second quarter.
Despite the foul issues, the Bulldogs closed out the first half by taking a 32-20 lead.
The third quarter proved to be the difference as Sherman managed to score just two points in the eight minutes following the break.
"Our defense had two really great quarters," Franze said. "Sherman is a team who likes to shoot the deep shot and we held them to just three all game, so that was big for us."
Patterson was the only player to make a field goal for the home team in the third quarter, draining one from behind the arc, but the Bulldogs did manage to make 6 of 11 free throws in a lackluster night from the line.
"Patterson and Ferguson had great games for Brocton," Emory said. "We can't let two players score 39 of the team's 56 points. We had foul trouble, but I don't think that had that much bearing on the game. It was just a great effort by Brocton's seniors."
With the 8-2 scoring difference in the third quarter, the Wildcats found themselves trailing by 18 heading into the fourth quarter.
However, Sherman found some offense as Brocton struggled to make free throws down the stretch and cut the score down to 45-36.
The Bulldogs shot 10-18 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, but were only 19 for 39 for the game.
"There aren't too many times you'll win against good teams like this when you miss 20 free throws," Franze said. "I did like we played well off the ball. We were also very aggressive and pounded the boards."
Dan Ferguson led Brocton with 20 points, 12 boards and five assists, while Patterson had 19 points and five steals. Aaron Riforgiato also chipped in with six points and eight boards for the Bulldogs.
Graham tied for a game-high 20 points for the Wildcats, while Jake Card had six points and eight rebounds.