Dawgs st ung by Stangs
GIDDI NGS— C oming of f their most productive offensive output of the season in their runaway bi-district win over Shiner just two days earlier, the Thorndale Bulldogs thought they were well prepared for a bout with Mumford, who regularly puts a strain on any double-digit scoreboard.
The Bulldogs stood toe-totoe with No. 2 Mumford for almost three quarters before submitting, 69-51 Friday night at Giddings Gymnasium in front of an overflow crowd.
It marks the second season in a row that Thorndale has bowed out in the second round.
The District 27A co-champion Bulldogs end the season at 18-12.
With an 82-54 victory over Ganada Monday night, Mumford (32-2) moves into the Division I Region IV Tournament at the Delco Center in Austin this weekend.
“We played well defensively, offensively we shot the ball well early and we protected the ball against their press. In the fourth quarter we couldn’t make any shots and then we had a series of about four trips where we had really poor shot selection and things got out of hand.”
“We knew going into this game that it was gonna be a fight,” said Mumford Coach Chris Sodek. “We have played them three times over the past two seasons and every game went just like this one. Thorndale showed a lot of heart battling to the end.
“They has a sound game plan and shot lights out during the first half. Fortunately for us, we had some leaders step up during the second half and we were able to take control of the game. I think this game was good for us because we survived a tough challenge and still found a way to win when we needed to.”
Leading 40-39 with 2 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Bulldogs—who had fought so gallantly all evening long—hit the proverbial wall and managed just two more field goals in the final 11 minutes as Mumford raced to the victory.
The Mustangs were led by sparkling senior point guard Eric Corona, who pumped in 22 of his game-high 30 points in the second half, (including 14 in the fourth quarter).
“Corona started taking the game over about midway through the third quarter and that’s when Mumford started building their lead,” Frank lin said. “I was proud of how our kids played, they fought hard, and they made Mumford earn the w in. You always hate to lose but we went down fighting and we went down playing well.”
Thorndale matched the galloping Mustangs—who regularly score near or over 100 points— shot-for-shot and even doubled them up from behind the arc (6 treys to 3), but missed 13-of-15 shots in the fourth quarter and connected on just 33 percent of their shots on the evening, 26 percent in that fourth quarter lull.
The Bulldogs also turned the ball over 24 times to Mumford’s 20 (15 in the first half).
Thorndale had ample success busting the Mustangs’ full court press in the first half and led most of the way, the largest lead coming at 28-21 on a Matt Schneider bank shot with 1:44 left in the half.
They held on for a surprising 30-26 lead at the break.
The lead changed hands for the last time after Tanner Thomas drilled a three-pointer from the right side for a 40-39 Thorndale lead before three straight close in shots by Mumford handed it a 45-43 lead with eight minutes left to play.
Corona reeled off 12 straight points on a variety of impressive shots driving by Thorndale defenders for a 53-46 advantage.
Thomas’ put back with 6:21 remaining to be played represented the Bulldogs’ final field goal of any consequence as Mumford outscored Thorndale 20-2 over that span, including 10-for-10 accuracy at the free throw line.
The Bulldogs made just six trips to the free throw line, connecting on five.
Isaac Leyendecker paced Thorndale with 13 points on the strength of three treys, followed by Landon Falke with 11 and Paxton Jordan with 10.
Corona’s foil, 6-foot-7 Luke Scarmado, posted 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks for which Thorndale had no answer.
Besides his dominant scoring, Corona dished off five assists and collected five steals for a team that is one step away from making its first state tournament appearance, a place Thorndale is quite familiar with.
“I think for the season it was a good year,” Franklin said. “We played a lot of good teams and competed well in the preseason, district and postseason. All the credit to our kids for working hard and putting themselves in positions to win games.
The Bulldogs lose just three seniors: Chance Ging, Trey Bransom and starter Weston Fisher.
They return four starters in juniors Isaac Leyendecker, Matt Schneider and Paxton Jordan and sophomore Dillon Irwin.
“I had a lot of fun coaching these guys because they worked hard for each other, they played hard for one another and they tried to do everything I asked of them,” said Franklin.
“I’m as proud as I can be of these guys for what they did this season. They are a bunch of good kids and I enjoy being around them and watching them have success.”
In a breakneck paced contest, Shiner’s hands-on approach to full court defense cost them at the end in Bulldogs’ 81-61 bidistrict win in Smithville last Wednesday.
No less than three Shiner starters had fouled out by the 4 1/2 minute mark of the fourth quarter, including its leading scorer Kelby Mayberry (15 points) who took a seat with 6:09 remaining to be played.
Brady Beals (13 points) fouled out seconds later and Ken Coleman was disqualified two minutes later.
After Mayberry sat down with Thorndale leading 61-53, the Bulldogs outscored Shiner 20-8 (including 10 straight) the rest of the way after leading 17-11 after the first quarter and 35-32 at halftime.
Jordan and Fisher dominated the inside play with both scoring 21 points and the 5-foot-10 Jordan ripped down 13 rebounds.
SCORING—Leyendecker 11.7, Fisher 10.1, Jordan 9.0, Schneider 8.0, Ware 6.8, Irwin 5.7, Falke 5.3, Thomas 4.7.
REBOUNDING—Jordan 7.3, Ware 5.5, Fisher 4.8, Leyndecker 4.2.
ASSISTS—Schneider 2.1. FT%—Schneider 76. FG%—Leyendecker 43. 3PT—Leyendecker 46.