Bulldogs lose by point in final seconds to Watts
WATTS, Okla. — The Decatur Bulldogs made a strong showing Dec. 18 when they traveled to Watts, Okla., to square off against the Engineers in the second of a series of two pre-season basketball contests. The Bulldogs, ahead by as much as 15 points for most of the game, lost to the Engineers by a single point in the final seconds.
The Bulldogs and Engineers last met at Peterson Gym in Decatur Nov. 13. In that game, Watts found itself down by a single point with only eight seconds left to play in the contest. Watts had possession of the ball as the clock closed in on the zero-second mark. With half a second left, a Watts player launched the possible winning shot from inside the left wing. The ball hit the backboard and rim at the same time resulting in a stuck ball, which cost the Engineers the game.
In a very similar scenario, the Bulldogs found themselves behind by one with less than three seconds left.
Decatur hit the first points of the contest at the seven-minute mark in the first quarter. The Bulldogs jumped out in front by 13 by the end of the first half.
Decatur continued to dominate Watts throughout the third, going into the fourth quarter, holding onto an 11-point lead with six minutes left in the contest. But the Engineers mounted a run that eventually put them into the lead for the first time with less than 30 seconds left. The Bulldogs came back on top once again, but the Engineers answered and regained a three-point lead. Jimmy Mendoza put up a bucket with less than 10 seconds to pull the Bulldog to within one.
Mendoza was fouled at the line, sending him to the free-throw line for the single point that would tie the game. Two full timeouts (one by Decatur, one by Watts) gave Mendoza time to think about his shot. Mendoza launched the ball, which bounced off the rim and was rebounded by the hands of a waiting Engineer. Time ran out before Decatur could regain possession of the ball. The Watts Engineers took the second contest, 53-52, over the Decatur Bulldogs.
Leading the scoring effort for the Bulldogs was Tafari James with 16, followed by Ryan Ross with 14 and Kevin Garcia with eight. Others contributing points to the game were Cayden Bingham and Jimmy Mendoza, each with four, and Jose Rubi and Bryson Funk, each with three (both hitting a three-pointer).
Kevin Garcia (Decatur 25) strips the ball away from an Engineer shooter during the Watts-Decatur basketball contest held in Watts,Okla., on Dec. 18. TheBulldogs lost by one.
Decatur’s Cayden Bingham knocks the ball away from an Engineer shooter during the second quarter of the Watts-Decatur non-conference basketball matchup Dec. 18 in the gym at Watts, Okla.