FIRST LOSS

Hardin falls to Billings Central in conference match-up
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Photo by Andrew Turck

Hardin’s Trae Hugs passes to a teammate at a match-up against the Billings Central Rams. Hardin’s Bulldog basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, 54-59.

Photo by Andrew Turck

Famous Left Hand of Hardin’s Bulldogs wrestles for the ball with a Billings Central player during a Saturday game at MetraPark.

Coming back from Christmas break, the Hardin Bulldog basketball team started the New Year by facing a loss to Billings Central and winning over Shepherd.

The Bulldogs’ Saturday game at the Billings Metra with Central’s Rams was a highly anticipated one, as the Rams are considered to be Hardin’s toughest opponent. With Central being the only team to defeat Hardin last year, Bulldog fans waited with bated breath to see the outcome their first match-up of 2019.

First, however, the Bulldogs faced Shepherd’s Mustangs in a non-conference away game, where they took the first quarter 25-11 and didn’t look back. Shepherd was kept to single digits after the first period – in the second and third, Hardin kept ahead 21-6 and 22-4 respectively. By the final quarter, the Bulldogs let up on offense and focused on defense for a score of 8-5.

Famous Left Hand took the lead in shots with 21, followed by Trae Hugs with 18.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Central’s Rams ended their team’s winning streak 59-54, despite a stellar second period where Hardin shot 23 points to Central’s 12, made up for a slow start in the first and tied the game 32-32 going into the second half. Hardin player Andrew House, to thunderous applause, first tied the Bulldogs with the Rams 27-27 using a well-time 2-point shot. He later would foul out following a barrage of calls against Hardin by the game’s referees.

The third quarter proved to be the team’s downfall, putting it behind by six points. Hardin kept pace in the fourth, but Central’s lead remained to the final buzzer.

Left Hand once again led Hardin in shooting with 15 points, followed by House with 13.

Andrew Roundface, head coach for the Bulldogs, was unavailable for comment at press time.

Hardin will play an away game against Lodge Grass High School at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, followed by a second against Lewistown at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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