By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
Senior point guard Kyle Hazelwood knows if the Bulldogs play their game, no one can stop them.
The Bulldogs were playing their game Saturday, as Hazelwood walked away with a season high 24 points, just two weeks after reaching his high in the Mesquite Tournament in Nevada.
Sealing their fourth victory this season, the Bulldogs (4-2) beat the Class 3A Basalt Longhorns by a score of 82-52. Hazelwood was the high scorer, although four other Bulldogs scored in the double digits. This season's record indicates the best start that the team has had during three years coach Blain Corlett has been at the helm.
"I think the kids made a really commitment to themselves and to the team over break," Corlett said. "After going 2-1 in the Mesquite Tournament, the boys are gaining a lot of confidence in themselves, and are really dedicating themselves to the program."
The dedication has paid off, and was on full display Saturday night. The Bulldogs never trailed the 3-5 Longhorns, and there was no end to the 'Dogs scoring efforts.
The 'Dogs explosive offense averaged 20.5 points per quarter and the defense held the Longhorn's top scorer, senior Ki Mulcaey, to 8 points on the night.
Mulcaey has averaged 23 point a game before meeting the Bulldogs.
Sophomore Anthony Loughran started the Bulldog' scoring tirade in the first quarter with a nearly unopposed lay-up after tip off. Seniors Mike Charchalis and Hazelwood took over, combining for 10 points from the field, ending the first with the 'Dogs ahead 16-6.
Hazelwood and Charchalis continued to dominate the game in the second, third and forth quarters. Both seniors found a nearly clear lane every time they drove the ball, with the Longhorns more concerned with their perimeter.
When the Horns gave up the perimeter and looked inside, it only gave junior Pablo Loya the chance to show his stuff. Loya stroked three three-pointers on the night and topped it off with four points shot deep in the field.
By halftime, Bulldogs were up 37-25, and the Longhorns didn't know which way was up.
"Their perimeter defense opened up the middle all night for us, and allowed us to get the upper hand early," Charchalis said. "Once we fell into our game, we played tough."
The third brought no relief to the 3A team, who watched Hazelwood, Charchalis and junior Joe Padon tack on six more points before the Longhorns first score of the quarter.
The Bulldogs continued scoring, and holding the Horns on defense, ending the third 58-34.
The fourth quarter continued the Bulldogs scoring streak, and marked the highest scoring period of the game. The Bulldogs put up 24 points in the fourth.
The fourth saw Hazelwood towing the line two times, and continued the free throw streak he had started, ending up with six for six on the night.
It took the Longhorns three minutes of the fourth to score six points, in that time the Bulldogs put up 11.
"Right now there's nobody that we can't match up against when we play our game," Charchalis said. "We're only heading one way forward, and into more wins."