Special to The Sun
The No. 2-ranked Edmond Memorial Bulldogs defeated the Mustang Broncos 62-52 Saturday to capture the 2013 Bruce Gray Invitational championship at Deer Creek High School in Edmond.
The Bulldogs and Broncos battled to start the game as Memorial grabbed a 10-8 lead midway through the first period. Aaron Young scored the Bulldogs’ first four points, but Mustang’s Garrett Goble answered with five of his own to start the game.
Memorial dished the ball into the post late in the first quarter. Shaquille Morris scored six of the team’s 10 points to close out the period with an 18-8 lead.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 17 points midway through the second quarter. Four players combined for their first seven points in the period including a 3-pointer by Jacob Essman. Their bench scored the team’s final six points including four free throws.
Mustang hung around in the second period and managed to put 10 points on the board with two of their best players in foul trouble. Terrell Williams and Jakolby Long spent most of the period on the bench causing the team’s offense to struggle. Memorial carried a 33-18 lead into halftime.
The game became a defensive stalemate in the third quarter.
Mustang cut the Bulldogs’ lead to nine with 3:20 left in the third as each team combined for just 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half.
Memorial extended their lead back to 13 before Mustang’s Goble knocked down a three with under a minute remaining in the quarter. Goble drained five threes in the contest and finished with 22 points.
Memorial’s Young nailed a jumper to end the quarter and give the Bulldogs a 41-29 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
The Bulldogs opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run and extended their lead to 18 points. However, the Broncos battled back with an 11-1 run to get within five points with five minutes left in the game. Goble fueled Mustang’s comeback by knocking three buckets from long range in the final eight minutes.
However, the Bulldogs proved to be too much to handle late in the game. Young scored six of the team’s final 12 points to help Memorial earn the 62-52 victory and capture their second straight Bruce Gray Invitational title.
“Everything wasn’t clicking offensively, but we were the toughest team on the floor,” Memorial head coach Shane Cowherd said after the game. “We played really strong and rebounded really well. To see us do that and do it well, it was good.”
“We controlled the end of the game. Coach (Terry) Long does a good job with his kids, but we take a lot of pride in our toughness. We’ve been to two straight state championships because of how tough we are. It was a great way to win.”
Aaron Young finished with 16 points and was named tournament MVP during the trophy presentation after the game. Shaq Morris and Jacob Essman were named to the All-Tournament team as well.
The Bulldogs begin a five-game home stand Tuesday against the Moore Lions at 8 p.m. Memorial’s anticipated rematch with the Midwest City Bombers is Feb. 12 in Edmond.