Horseshoe Bend Reeltown basketball

Andy Anders / The Outlook Horseshoe Bend forward Jacob Turner (10) lays the ball in against Reeltown Dec. 16.

It only took a quarter for Horseshoe Bend basketball to get back into striking distance with area rival LaFayette, but the Generals couldn’t gain the separation necessary for a victory.

The Bulldogs beat Horseshoe Bend 50-48 in a back-and-forth battle in the Generals’ gymnasium Monday.

“I thought we showed some resiliency,” Horseshoe Bend coach Chad Kison said. “I know stuff wasn’t falling but we just kept plugging away at it.”

Junior Klark James tallied 13 points while senior Holt Tidwell followed closely behind at 12, all coming on four 3-pointers.

Senior Gavin Brazzell picked up nine points of his own for the Generals while sophomore Luke Jones added eight, a more even scoring distribution than Horseshoe Bend has been accustomed to this season as James and Tidwell have done most of the squad’s scoring.

“If I can take the pressure off the top two and spread it around a little bit, get some easy looks, stuff that those other guys can finish,” Kison said. “That helps out the scoring big time.”

Senior Antavious Woody led the way for LaFayette, scoring 14 points.

The contest was night and day from the first time the two sides met in area play.

LaFayette dominated Horseshoe Bend in a 70-32 affair on the Bulldogs’ home floor that opened area play for the two sides Dec. 6.

“I thought our defense kept us in the game the whole night,” Kison said. “We played four quarters of really good defense. I was very impressed by our rebounding, we were keeping everybody in front of us, contesting shots.”

It looked as though that might not be the case early on, however, as the Generals struggled to accumulate points and fell behind 10-3 after the first quarter.

“We couldn’t shoot the ball in the first quarter,” Kison said. “We missed a bunch of easy ones, a couple layups and some open looks from 3. We just couldn’t put anything down.”

The second period belonged to Horseshoe Bend, though.

It broke through for 15 points and sliced the halftime deficit to 20-18. Brazzell and James each picked up four points in the frame.

“After the first quarter I said, ‘Boys, if we’re going to score, we’re going to have to do some things to move the ball around, get to the rim and finish our opportunities,’” Kison said.

Both sides swapped between small leads in the second half. In the final minute, LaFayette hit a triple to extend its lead to 50-45, Horseshoe Bend responded in kind to make it 50-48. But there was only one second to play and the Generals couldn’t tie or win the game with such little time left. 

Horseshoe Bend continues its season on the road against Central of Clay County Tuesday.

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