Throughout league play, the Carthage Bulldog basketball team has been on the cusp of recording wins time and time again, but have come up short for one reason or another. They have fought off injuries and youthful inexperience on the squad. But Carthage picked up a well-deserved win on Friday, recording a 42-40 win over Gladewater in Bulldog Gymnasium to celebrate Senior Night.
Carthage (5-20) put the defensive clamps on the Bears in the second and fourth quarters to help the Bulldogs gain the league win, which was the team's first in league play as CHS improved to 1-8. The Dawgs allowed just two points in the second quarter as it climbed back from a 15-10 deficit after the first period to take a 19-17 lead at intermission.
In the second half the Bulldogs saw Gladewater battle back to tie the game, 32-32, heading into the fourth quarter. But the Dawgs allowed just eight points in the final eight minutes of play and secured the win.
"Our defense has been pretty good at times throughout district play," said Carthage head coach Jon Haft. "We've had breakdowns here and there, but overall our defense has been pretty consistent. Against Gladewater, our offense wasn't there and we had to rely on our defense to make some big plays and that's what we received.
"It was great to see us get that first district win, because we've come so close in several other games this season."
In other District 16-3A games on Friday night, Henderson knocked off Gilmer and Pittsburgh bumped off league front-runner Spring Hill, 57-53.
The Panthers, who have still wrapped up at least a share of the district title, are still one game ahead of Pittsburgh as the Panthers sit at 8-1 and the Pirates sit at 7-2. Despite the setback to Carthage, Gladewater has already secured third place in the league with a 5-4 mark, with Gilmer (3-6) and Henderson (3-6) tied for fourth.
Meechie Bowman and Greg Brantley both scored in double figures for the Bulldogs against Gladewater. Bowman threw in 15 points, with Brantley right behind with 14 points. Greg Graves dropped in four points, Tee Goree added three and Broc Jemison, O'Keeron Rutherford and Ashton Robertson chipping in two points each.
"Greg (Brantley) had a great game," Haft stated. "He has a soft touch and he does a great job of being a force in the middle. He would have made a big difference in this team if we would have had him all season long.
"But it was a great effort by the kids. It was great to see all their work be rewarded with the win."
Teams finish the regular season Tuesday night.
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