Bowling Green beats Muhlenberg, wins sixth straight
It wasn’t a walkthrough by any means, but Bowling Green was able to get by Saturday’s opponent much easier than Friday’s.
One night after having to fight and claw for a 57-56 District 14 win at Greenwood, the Purples stepped up their game, played much more consistent basketball and earned a 61-45 win over Muhlenberg County at Bowling Green High School.
“I thought we played well tonight,” Bowling Green head coach Derrick Clubb said. “I thought our guys responded with great effort. I thought in stretches tonight we kind of controlled the game on both ends of the floor doing what we needed to do to be successful.”
Bowling Green (12-2 overall) – which has now won six straight – faced a 10-9 deficit after the opening quarter but put together a dominant second period to lead 32-17 at halftime. The Purples continued to stay in front throughout the second half and were able to hold off Muhlenberg County for a home victory.
Isaiah Mason led the way for Bowling Green with a game-high 20 points, while Turner Buttry knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points. Ivan Drobocky added seven points for the Purples, and Trevor Dennis tallied six to round out the stat sheet.
Nash Divine paced the Mustangs (9-5) with a team-high 16 points.
“Tonight was another really good night for us,” Mason said. “We bounced back from a really close win last night. We just had to find how to stay together and keep playing with each other, so I think tonight was a really big night for us.”
Bowling Green started flat and trailed 7-0 just over four minutes into the game. The Purples didn’t record their first score until Dennis made a layup at the 4:06 mark of the first quarter.
Muhlenberg County continued to lead throughout the period, but Bowling Green closed it on a 5-0 run to only trail 10-9 entering the second – and that’s when the Purples found their game.
Outscoring the Mustangs 23-7 in the quarter, Bowling Green built its largest lead of 16 at 29-13 with 1:23 left in the half after a 3-pointer from Mason and soon took a 32-17 advantage into the locker room at the break.
“It shows how hard we’ve been practicing. We’ve been practicing hard every day,” Mason said. “The work pays off for us. It’s honestly all of the practicing and all of the coaches. That’s the reason why we keep winning.”
Mason was already up to 12 points after two quarters of action, while Buttry had splashed a pair of threes. The Purples outrebounded Muhlenberg County 18-7 in the first half and only allowed four different Mustangs to score.
Muhlenberg County strung together some momentum and battled in the second half, but Bowling Green remained in front throughout it.
A 5-0 run – which was highlighted by back-to-back buckets from Isaac Rose – brought the Mustangs within 40-26 at the 2:13 mark of the third quarter. Bowling Green responded by scoring six out of the last eight points of the period – capped by Mason’s step-back 3 just before the buzzer – to lead 46-28 entering the fourth.
“Isaiah is a good player. He lives in the gym constantly working on his game,” Clubb said of his leading scorer. “It’s important to him – and you can see that because he’s really starting to catch fire right now. He’s scoring from all three levels, and there’s so many ways that he gets buckets. It’s because he plays so hard and just gets out there and loses himself in the game.”
Drobocky made a pair of free throws to put the Purples up 50-30 early into the quarter, but five straight points from Divine made it 50-35 with just over six minutes remaining. Muhlenberg County – and Divine – continued to play tough, but Bowling Green continued to answer and came out on top.
The Purples return to action Tuesday in a District 14 road contest at South Warren. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“Tuesday is all we’re focused on,” Clubb said. “South Warren is a team that is starting to put it together. I think everybody saw with them going to Glasgow and beating a really good Glasgow team – and it’s a 14th District team on the road. It’s the biggest game for us right now.”
Muhlenberg County – 10 7 11 17 – 45
Bowling Green – 9 23 14 15 – 61
MCHS – Nash Divine 16, Nolan Davis 12, Hayden Perkins 10, Isaac Rose 4, Alex Johnston 2, Landon Gunterman 1.
BGHS – Isaiah Mason 20, Turner Buttry 8, Ivan Drobocky 7, Trevor Dennis 6, Cobi Huddleston 5, Dorian Morrison 5, Davion Dice 4, Conner Cooper 2, Jaylen Wardlow 2, Jaxson Banks 2.