Purples flip script, beat rival Warren Central
Take Two was very similar to Take One. There was just a different outcome.
The first Bowling Green-Warren Central meeting of the season last Saturday was low-scoring, physical and competitive – and the Dragons escaped with a 49-45 win at home.
Fast forward less than a week later and the style of the matchup remained the same, but it was the Purples that came out on top in a 54-48 victory on Friday night at Bowling Green High School.
“I thought we played well tonight,” Bowling Green coach Derrick Clubb said. “I thought our kids battled tonight. I thought both teams just came out and competed. I thought we had some stretches tonight where we just did what we talked about – the keys to the game for us and the things we were trying to emphasize – and just really did that.”
Bowling Green (17-3, 5-1 District 14), which took possession of first place in the District 14 standings with the victory, held a slim 10-9 lead after the opening quarter but were later up 27-16 at halftime. Warren Central used a big third quarter to get within 32-31 entering the fourth, but the Purples delivered the final punches and executed when it mattered most.
Isaiah Mason led the way for BGHS with 18 points, while Turner Buttry scored 14. As Mason had already tallied 14 points through two periods and was the spark for the Purples, Buttry played a major role off the bench and was a crucial factor down the stretch – and a big reason why the home club earned a win.
“It was awesome,” said Buttry, who played in his first-ever home game against rival Warren Central. “I’ve never been in an atmosphere like that. People were chanting, ‘He’s a freshman’ and stuff like that, so it was really cool.”
Tayshaun Bibb, Dre Boyd and Kamden Lawrence each finished with 10 points to carry the Dragons (11-7, 4-2).
The two sides played a competitive opening quarter, as neither side held a lead larger than four points.
Bowling Green took a 9-6 lead on a 3-pointer from Buttry and pushed it to a four-point advantage with Kolbe Gray’s free throw at the 1:42 mark. Warren Central closed the period with three straight free throws to get within 10-9.
The Purples came alive in the second, outscoring the Dragons 17-7 to build a double-digit lead. Back-to-back baskets from Mason quickly put Bowling Green up 14-9 at the 7:19 mark, and another score from the guard made it 16-11 just over a minute later.
Central cut its deficit to 20-16 at the 3:54 mark, but the Purples closed the quarter with a momentum-swinging 7-0 run – highlighted by Buttry’s buzzer-beating layup – to lead 27-16 at the break.
“At this point of the season, our freshmen and sophomores are sophomores and juniors now,” Clubb said. “They’ve had enough experience and played in enough big games, and I think you’re starting to see that. They’re starting to turn the corner a little bit. The things we’re seeing in practice, they’re being able to put out on the floor in a big game like this.”
Warren Central caught a spark in the third quarter and used an impressive 10-0 run – capped by a 3 from Lawrence – to even the scoreboard at 29-all at the 3:35 mark. Bowling Green answered the Dragons’ surge with three free throws to take a 32-31 lead into the fourth.
Opening the final frame with a 10-0 run of their own, the Purples pushed their advantage to 40-31 with 5:37 remaining after Buttry converted an and-one and Cobi Huddleston knocked down a free throw. Central responded with scores on back-to-back trips, but Bowling Green was still up 47-40 with 3:21 left.
A pair of Jamale Barber triples brought the Dragons within 49-46 with 2:02 left, but the Purples – thanks to Conner Cooper – were able to make clutch free throws late and seal it.
“It’s always gonna be a tight game. Kids are always gonna play hard,” said Clubb of the Purples-Dragons rivalry. “It matters to both communities and matters to the kids. It’s a fun thing, and I think because of that you get into that slugfest where every possession is magnified.”
Bowling Green faces a quick turnaround as it travels to Region 4-leading Allen County-Scottsville for a 7:30 p.m. tilt on Saturday. Warren Central will be back in action next Tuesday on the road at Taylor County. Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m.
Lady Purples cruise past Lady Dragons
Behind a pair of players finishing in double figures – led by T’Alla Brown’s 15-point outing, the Bowling Green girls’ basketball team cruised to a dominating 59-25 win over Warren Central on Friday evening at Bowling Green High School.
The Lady Purples (17-4, 6-0 District 14) – who have now won 10 straight games and are a perfect 7-0 in the month of January – built a 16-4 lead after the opening quarter and stretched it to 43-10 at halftime. Taking advantage of the lopsided cushion, they were able to roll through the second half en route to the victory.
Along with Brown’s performance, Saniyah Shelton scored 10 points while Keyozdon Jones tallied nine.
Krisheana Johnson and La Aunhni Lewis paced Warren Central (0-19, 0-6) with six points apiece.
The Lady Dragons return to action Monday in a 7:30 p.m. home contest against Ohio County. Bowling Green will be back on the court Tuesday when it hosts district opponent South Warren at 6 p.m.