BRIDGEPORT — Utilizing the foul line, especially in the fourth quarter, the visiting Barnesville Shamrocks snapped a winless road streak with a 55-45 win over the Bridgeport Bulldogs on Tuesday at John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.
Barnesville cashed in on 19-of-32 chances from the charity stripe, 11 in the final eight minutes, and the Shamrocks held off a comeback bid by the ’Dogs to post that elusive first win on the road.
Bridgeport (3-13) jumped in front 12-10 after the opening frame and Barnesville shaved one off the difference the second round with a 16-15 scoring advantage, sparked by a half-court three-pointer from Dylan MacMillan at the buzzer, to trail 27-26 at the half.
Isaac McGee opened the second half with a trey to put the Shamrocks in front 29-27, but Bridgeport’s Jonathan Kreiter knotted the score at 29. Barnesville then reeled off a 13-6 run, led by Zach Houston with seven of his nine points in the frame, to post a 42-35 lead at the close of three.
Barnesville ( 6-11) got a pair of free throws from David Stewart and Houston to push the lead to 47-39 with 5:10 showing, but the Bulldogs got two bonus tosses from both Aaron Roth and Dallas Fields to cut the difference to 47-43 with 4:39 left. A steal and lay-up by Fields narrowed the gap to 47-45 at the 3:39 mark forcing Barnesville coach Chris Pack to call a time out.
Following back-to-back turnovers, Bridgeport misfired on a wide-open look from beyond the arc and Barnesville proceeded to pump in 6-of-8 from the charity stripe down the stretch to secure the victory.
The Shamrocks were 16-of-48 from the field, but made up the difference at the foul line with three players scoring in double figures. Brandon Burkhart led the way with 13 points followed by Stewart and McGee with 10 markers each. Houston followed with nine points and seven boards and MacMillan added seven points and nine caroms.
Bridgeport connected on 17-of-51 floor shots but converted just 7-of-12 from the bonus line. Parker Dyson led the Bulldogs with 10 points, added nine rebounds and blocked six shots. QJ Williams followed with nine points and Bailey McGrath hit a trio of threes for nine markers off the bench.
Barnesville claimed a 33-31 rebounding edge and committed just nine turnovers. Bridgeport was guilty of 13 miscues.
NEXT — Barnesville welcomes Shadyside on Friday, with the reserve game at 6 p.m.