Eighth-grade Bullpups take third place at districts

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The eighth-grade boys basketball team went to Steamboat in hoping to bringing back a district trophy for the Craig Middle School, instead they brought back memories of a third place finish.

The Bullpups lost by two points, 37-35 in the first round against the Meeker Cowboys.

"I thought we had a bad first half," Head Coach Mike LeWarne said. "We had too many turnovers."

The second half was different for the Bullpups, who came out with their full-court press and forced several of turnovers to get back into the game. Their offense came alive and outscored the Cowboys 16-15 in the third quarter to pull within ten points 34-24.

In the fourth quarter, the Bullpups pressured the ball, and Meeker was forced to make turnovers. The 'Pups took advantaged of the turnovers, scoring several points.

The offense fought back and shot well in the fourth. The Bullpups outscored Meeker 11-3 in the fourth quarter, but fell three points short of a victory, 37-35.

"Meeker is a decent team, and we had to have a better first half to beat them," LeWarne said. "Meeker's 6'2" post player changed many of our shots."

"Jared Lowther scored 14 points in the second," the Bullpups' coach said. "He had a good game."

With their chance for the first place gone, the Bullpups had to settle for third place with a win against Steamboat. The Bullpups came out strong from the first jump shot and won 44-24.

"I was proud of the guys," LeWarne said. "The guys didn't hang their heads after losing and came out fired up. The last game of the year, you want it to be your best game. The first quarter was their best quarter of the season."

The 'Pups came out with a 14-0 run to start the game. They had a lot of steals and lay ups, said LeWarne.

The Bullpups led at half time 26-13.

The offense had a lot of rebounds and second shots throughout the game.

"Kellan Moore and Trevor Simones were controlling the boards and put back many second-chance points.

The 'Pups went on to win the last game of their season easily 44-24.

The 'Pups finished their season 6-4 in regular play , 1-1 in post-season and 7-5 overall.

"The team had great individual improvements through the season," LeWarne said. "I liked working with this group of kids. They have a good attitude and a wanting to improve all year."

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