Boys basketball: Notre Dame earns SWC championship

Notre Dame celebrates winning the South-West Conference title.

Determined not to have the same fate that they had in two regular-season meetings against the Notre Dame of Fairfield Lancers, the Bunnell High Bulldogs trimmed a 15-point second-quarter deficit to three in Thursday’s South-West Conference boys basketball championship game.

That was as close as the Bulldogs got, as the top-seeded Lancers ended the opening half on a 12-2 run and pulled away in the third quarter for an 88-62 triumph over the second-seeded Bulldogs at Masuk High in Monroe.

“They shot the ball very well tonight,” Bunnell coach Pat Yerina said of coach Chris Watt’s team. “We made one run in the second quarter, cut it to three, then had three turnovers that probably resulted in eight or nine points.”

Trailing 19-7 after one quarter of play, and 24-9 early in the second, the Bulldogs got to work and scored 11 unanswered points.

Bunnell’s comeback effort included seven points on consecutive trips up the court, thanks to the hustle of Brett Bogdwicz.

Zhyaire Fernandes scored despite a foul, and Bogdwicz got the rebound on the subsequent missed free throw attempt, and dished to Fernandes for two more points.

On Bunnell’s next possession, Kwann Greer hit a foul shot and missed the second. Bogdwicz fought for the rebound and the ball deflected out of bounds off a Lancer. Moreland cashed in, making the score 24-16.

The Bulldogs kept chipping away, and Khalid Moreland’s 3-pointer answered a Lancer bucket to make the score 26-23 with 3:02 left in the opening half.

Notre Dame reclaimed control in a hurry.

After an Anthony Mongillo 3-pointer doubled the lead, two quick hoops were scored off back-to-back steals and the lead ballooned to 10 in a matter of seconds. It was 38-25 Notre Dame at the half.

The Bulldogs got a taste of what most other teams dealt with in facing them during the campaign: not being able to stop a red-hot offense.

Bunnell couldn’t control game MVP Tyler Bourne, who scored all 21 of his points by the end of the third quarter. Bourne drilled four 3-pointers in the third, among his five made shots from downtown in the game, to help Notre Dame build a 63-42 lead heading to the fourth.

The 6-foot-4 Noreaga Davis scored 20, doing a fair amount of his damage inside. Mongillo netted 15, matching Bourne’s five shots from beyond the arc. The Lancers hit 14 three-pointers in all.

“We had a difficult time guarding tonight,” Yerina said. “They rebounded well and finished everything inside.”

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