The Eagles score 18 points in the first half on second-chance opportunities

After falling to 2-11 following a 73-55 loss Tuesday to Plato, Dixon Bulldogs coach Scott Ballard took no time at all deciding what derailed a game in which his 'dogs certainly had a chance.

“They just boxed us out better and we didn't go get the rebound,” Ballard said. “18 points in the first half were off of their second-chance shots.”

Three three-pointers – one from each Gavin Barnhart, Marquis Gantt and Walker Shelton – helped Dixon to an 18-15 first-quarter lead.

However, the Eagles' hard work on the boards paid off in the second quarter via five putbacks.

There was also an 11-0 run from 5:54 to 3:08 and a buzzer-beating layup by Grady Todd that boosted the Eagles to a 38-31 halftime advantage.

Todd, a freshman, led all scorers with 27 points.

Three Eagles finished in double digits Tuesday. Wesley Wilson had 19 and Ty Humphrey 13. Caden Wyatt (9), Jacob Supancic (3), Caeden Hathaway (1) and Jack Morrison (1) also contributed.

The Bulldogs trimmed Plato's lead to three with 5:26 remaining but a 13-2 Eagles run to end the third quarter made it a 54-40 game.

Dixon never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

“We wanted to gamble at the end on defense but not offense,” Ballard said. “And we turned into gambling on offense. We actually had a chance, I think, to come back and we just didn't do the right things on offense.”

Marquis Gantt led the Bulldogs in scoring with 15 points. Then it was Gavin Barnhart with 12, Walker Shelton 11, Trey Holzer four, Sebastian Salais four, Braden Mahurin three, Seth Parker three and Quest Winkle three.

Weather permitting, the Bulldogs will host the Stoutland Tigers on Friday.

What will it take for Dixon to pick up the 'W' Friday? The same thing it'll take to salvage any wins out of the rest of this season.

“Hard work,” Ballard said. “We're just getting beat on the hustle end of it.”