By Ethan Colbert
The Bowling Green Bobcats (13-12) roared to life in the second-half of Saturday’s Class AAA, District VII Tournament game to defeat the Winfield Warriors, 59-53.
The Bobcats advance to Tuesday night’s second-round game of the district play-off tournament. The Bobcats will look to upset second-seeded Montgomery County Wildcats in the contest, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Winfield High School gymnasium.
After leading through the entire first-half, the Bobcats watched as the Warriors erased the deficit and tied the game at 31 points with a little more than 1:50 to play in the third quarter.
Instead of panicking, the Bobcats continued to pound the ball inside the paint.
“We talked about one of our offenses for this game being that we were going to flash somebody to the middle part of their zone defense,” Bowling Green High School Coach Cary Bibb said in an interview following the win. “Our kids did a good job of doing that and we got several good looks inside because of that.”
Desperate to try and prevent the ‘Cats from scoring, the Winfield Warriors would resort to
fouling their opponents and sent the Bobcats to the free throw line. With the game hanging in the balance, the Bobcats went 20-for-28 in the second half.
“I am so proud of how our kids battled and competed,” Bibb said. “We talked a little bit last night and a little bit today that this season is going to end one day for everybody. Now, how we play and what we did today, gives us the chance to influence how this season ends for us.”
Bibb said he was especially proud of how his team pushed through exhaustion after playing a game on Friday night and then having an early game on Saturday afternoon.
“Winfield had every advantage coming into this game,” Bibb said. “They didn’t play last night, we did. They had every advantage, except they are not the Bobcats. We are. I think that really was the difference — our kids showed tremendous heart, their perseverance, their competitiveness, and they showed who we are as a team today.”
Bibb was also appreciative to see a large crowd of Bowling Green supporters filing into the stands prior to the game.
“It is what you come to expect from the passionate fans of Bowling Green,” Bibb said. “I looked around before the game and I thought that we had almost as many fans as they did. Our team deserves to have that kind of support, this program deserves it, and we have some people who are very passionate about basketball and today we gave them a very good show.”
Leading the Bobcats in scoring was BGHS junior Kaleo Dade with 17 points. Dade shot 6-for-10 from the free throw line. Also contributing points for the Bobcats were: Kameron Worley, 15 points; Corey Bell, 14 points; Noah Pafford, 9 points; and Gavin Deters, 4 points.