A trip to the Class L final was there for the taking. Bunnell just didn’t capitalize.
After trailing by as many as 10 in the second half, the ninth-seeded Bulldogs fought back to tie No. 4 Windsor with 1:27 left in the state semifinals. The Bulldogs couldn’t overcome their 3-for-11 performance at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, though.
“It was right there for us,” coach Pat Yerina said after Bunnell’s 60-56 loss on Tuesday. “(Windsor) came back and hit their shots, hit their free throws.”
Bunnell trailed 51-47 heading into the fourth, but pulled within 55-54 after Justin Townsend hit one of two free throws. The Bulldogs had a chance to take their first lead after Windsor’s Tyler Rowe missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Donte Peeler was whistled for a charge with 2:24 left. That was the forward’s fourth foul, and less than a minute later he picked up his fifth.
Guard Cody Quinn knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:26 left to give Windsor a 57-55 lead. He was an injury replacement at the line.
“I asked him, ‘Do you got it?’ He said, ‘I think so,'” Windsor coach Ken Smith said. “I’m like, ‘holy cow.'”
Windsor’s start was even more impressive than its finish. The Warriors led 5-0 and took off from there. They hit 5 3-pointers in the first half to lead 34-26.
“They blitzed us with some (3-pointers),” Yerina said. “I knew they were a good 3-point shooting team. It wasn’t one guy.”
To be exact, it was four different players. And eight different Windsor players scored in the first half.
It would’ve been great to see a Bunnell-Career L final. The one time they faced each other this year, the matchup lived up to the hype (a 66-64 Career win on Dec. 20).
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs failed Tuesday to capitalize.