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Bulldogs crash down on Floyd, 74-50

December 17, 2008
Floyd Central had its Friday night crash in on them at New Albany High School as the Bulldogs steamrolled to a 74-50 win. Highlander coach Randy Gianfagna said playing county rival New Albany is a good way to find out where his team is at this point in the season.

"Around here, New Albany is the measuring stick," he said, "and if we want to be a rival, we've got to start winning some of these."

Floyd Central's Ben Allen, right, and New Albany's Chris Whitehead (4) and Jordy Martin watch the ball roll away from them during a scramble in the first half. (Photo by Wade Bell)
It only took a few minutes, however, for the Highlanders to see what the night was going to be like. In the first five minutes of the first quarter, Floyd committed five turnovers, allowing New Albany to quickly run to a 12-2 lead.

Buddy McAfee scored inside for Floyd, but the Dogs made another 8-2 burst to lead 20-6 after one quarter.

TeNale Roland scored to begin the second period, but then came a series of turnovers, three by the Highlanders and two by the Bulldogs. The two teams swapped baskets twice, then Floyd turned the ball over twice more. However, Barrett Crone gave Floyd something to cheer about with a one-arm slam and Ryan Adam added a three-ball to pull the Highlanders within 11 at 26-15.

Roland and Donnie Hale scored inside, pushing New Albany's lead to 30-15. Four Highlander free throws cut the Floyd deficit to 10, but New Albany's Jordy Martin swished a three with three seconds left, and the Bulldogs took a 33-20 to the locker room at halftime.

"I think we turned it over the first four possessions of the first quarter and the first three of the second," Gianfagna said. "We felt like going in at 13, as bad as we had played, with the turnovers and the offensive rebounds, we felt like we had a shot still coming out."

The game got out of hand, however, at the beginning of the third period as New Albany scored six quick points to build a 39-20 lead. McAfee got a pair of freebies from the stripe for Floyd, but the Bulldogs countered with a 9-3 burst. From that point, it was complete domination by the Bulldogs, who cruised to the 74-50 win.

"They hit a three, and then Donnie (Hale) got a layup and their 13 went to 20 real quick," Gianfagna said of the beginning of the second half. "On offensive rebounds, they had 15 the first half and we had four turnovers to start the first and three to start the second, and that sets a tone. I'm more worried about the backboards, because I think that's an effort thing. New Albany is going to turn you over. Our turnovers, I didn't think led to easy buckets. We just traveled or did whatever."

Adam led the Highlanders with 19 points. Floyd connected on 17 of 21 free throws, but committed 21 turnovers.

"I think (the turnovers) and the offensive rebounds, they had more offensive rebounds than defensive," the Floyd coach said. "We can't give them 29 extra possessions. They just speed you up and make you play faster than what you want to play, but the rebounding bothered me."

Hale led New Albany with 22 points and Brett Martin followed with 16. The Bulldogs hit 12 of 19 free throws and made 15 turnovers.

"I told our kids we limit them to one shot and we'd be OK," Gianfagna said. "You can take all the turnovers you want, but limit them to one shot."

Gianfagna said he could see good things despite the loss, adding the team's effort is improving.

"It's getting better each game," he said. "I didn't think we backed down. Also, it seemed like it took us until the six-minute mark of the first quarter to get our legs underneath us. They hit a big three to end the second quarter. Going down 10 would have been nice. We just didn't close out on that kid who hit the three, but we had fought back. We had a bunch of guys in foul trouble. We were just hoping to get it there."

"Our job coming out of the second half, we were supposed to get it to eight," the Floyd coach said. "They pushed it to 20, so they did their job and we didn't do ours."

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The Highlanders will play a double-header this weekend, visiting Columbus East Friday night and hosting Providence the following evening.

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