Louisiana boys capture BG tourney for the first time in 88 seasons
Kendon Chatman made several layups like this on drives to the basket against Winfield at the resumed Bowling Green Tournament.
With two big wins over the week, the Louisiana Bulldogs improved their record to 14-2 on the season and grabbed the Bowling Green Tournament trophy for the first time in 88 years.
Louisiana won the first two tournaments in 1925 and 1926 and hasn’t won it since, according to Bowling Green High records.
With Bulldogs senior post player Tristan Castiglia in foul trouble most of the game, Louisiana boys turned to Kendon Chatman, Marshall Corbin and Austin Rule to hold off the charging Winfield Warriors and capture the Bowling Green tourney crown on Saturday, Feb. 8.
The final score was tight because Louisiana gave up a seven-point lead with one minute and 32 seconds to go, but led by as much as 12 during the contest.
“I would consider this one of our better wins when you consider that we were down a starter and had foul trouble throughout the game,” Bulldogs Head Coach Derrick Branstetter said.
“With Tristan only playing 12 minutes, we needed help from our bench and Austin gave us 21 great minutes. I was proud of the way the kids didn’t get rattled. This was our third shot at a tournament championship and it was obviously nice to finally come out on the right side of it.”
The Bulldogs had lost championship games at the Monroe City and Clopton tournaments earlier this season for their only two losses of the year.
The Warriors broke out to a 13-11 lead at the end of the first quarter with Castiglia already on the bench in the fast-paced game.
Senior swingman Corbin hit a three pointer and Chatman knifed to the basket for layups to keep Winfield honest during the half. The Bulldogs went on an 18-9 run in the second quarter and led 29-22 at the half.
The Warriors matched the Bulldogs in the third quarter with 17 points and actually outscored Louisiana, 22-17, in the final quarter.
Chatman hit two free throws with 16.8 seconds left and a late Winfield three-pointer didn’t matter.
Corbin had four three-pointers and led the Bulldogs with 21 points and added two rebounds, an assist, a blocked shot and a steal.
Chatman scored 14 points on 71 percent shooting, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and dished out four assists.
Senior guard Daylon Green had nine points, three rebounds a steal and two assists.
Rule had seven points and four rebounds. Castiglia had seven points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.
Junior guard Elijah Oblinger had five points, including a three-pointer, one steal and three assists.
Winfield’s David Bauer poured in 38 points.
Louisiana had little trouble with the Tigers in a Friday, Dec. 7 home victory.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a huge 23-7 lead to end the first quarter and made it 38-13 at the half.
The third quarter saw Mark Twain outscore Louisiana 14-13 but the Bulldogs still led at the end of the frame, 51-27. Louisiana went on a 14-12 fourth quarter-run to close the game out.
“We were a little sloppy starting out but got things going and built a 25-point half-time lead,” Branstetter said. “We were pretty flat in the second half when they went to a packed in zone. With a big lead the kids were a little unwilling to take advantage of the perimeter openings.”
Corbin was hot, hitting 73 percent of his shots and three of four free throws for 22 points. He added four rebounds, two steals and an assist.
Three players hit for nine points, including Chatman, Castiglia and Greene, who had three three-pointers.
Chatman had four rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Castiglia had seven rebounds, three blocked shots, three steals and an assist. Greene had seven rebounds and two assists.
Oblinger had six points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to play on the road at Palmyra at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11 as the Press-Journal went to press.
Louisiana will also play a snow makeup game at Highland at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.
Louisiana is also scheduled to play at home at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 against Brookfield.
The annual courtwarming will be held between the boys game and the girls game, which starts at 6 p.m.