Dawgs return to playoffs produces a short stay

Hempstead prevails in wildand wooly affair
Reporter Staff Writer

Dillon Irwin muscles inside for two of his team-high 22 points in Thorndale’s bi-district loss to Hempstead Tuesday night. 
Reporter/Teresa Ging Dillon Irwin muscles inside for two of his team-high 22 points in Thorndale’s bi-district loss to Hempstead Tuesday night. Reporter/Teresa Ging GIDDINGS—The Thorndale Bulldogs were determined to get back to the state playoffs after a rare one-year absence, but deter mi nat ion wa sn’t enough to overcome an off night.

It was one and done for the Bulldogs as they fell 75-57 in bidistrict action to Hempstead at Buffalo Gym to end their short lived return to the state basketball playoffs.

“ What more could you say about your seniors,” Thorndale Coach Doug Franklin said. “They were upbeat, positive and leaders of our team. We have a team of great kids.”

Hempstead (10- 5) will now meet up with 26-2A winner Van Vleck in the area round this weekend, with date and time still to be determined.

Hempstead, third in District 28-2A, was led by 6-foot-5 Trent Momon who averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds coming in to the game and the senior had 30 points against Thorndale on Tuesday night.

In his final game in a Thorndale uniform, senior Dillon Irwin pumped in 22 points for the Bulldogs while gathering up seven rebounds and dishing off four assists.

Eric Guzman and Aaron Laurence supplemented Irwin with eight points apiece.

The Bulldogs finished second in District 27-2A with an 11-3 mark behind unbeaten and 3rdranked Jarrell despite returning just two players off last year’s 20-7 squad—Irwin and Tanner Thomas.

The 21-9 Bulldogs’—who missed out on the post season for the first time since 2002— only league losses were to Jarrell twice and Lago Vista once.

It was a physical, aggressive game from opening tip-off that saw ever y thing from tackles to sliding across the court to dunks.

In the end, Thorndale just couldn’t answer back to the Bobcats evident physical advantage, speed and deep bench.

There were 15 players on Hempstead’s varsity roster. Thorndale suited up just nine.

“I think late in the third quarter when the game got more physical, we just didn’t respond (like we needed to),” Franklin said.

Hempstead jumped out to an early 6- 0 lead before the Bulldogs found their rhythm and tied things up at 14-14 after the first frame.

Midway through the second quarter, the Bobcats pulled ahead by as much as nine, before Thorndale battled back.

With 1:15 left in the half, Irwin would snag a steal and toss it to Sam Stockton for a layup, putting Thorndale up 28-27.

The lead was short lived, with Hempstead regaining the lead 32- 30 at the break, and they never looked back.

The Bobcats led the entire time of the final two quarters. In the third they went on a 12-5 run to really put the game out of reach.

Franklin w ill return three starters next season and knows they will continue to get better.

“I think the main strength of this team is how well the kids get along. They really enjoying each other and working hard for each other,” Franklin said.

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