Boys basketball: Wolves rally, hold off 5A-8 rival Bulls

By Peter Pupello, Times Correspondent
Published January 19, 2008

Wolves rally, hold off 5A-8 rival Bulls

LITHIA - Physical play and continuous banter between fans set the stage for Friday's game between Class 5A, District 8 rivals Newsome and Bloomingdale, which the Wolves pulled out 49-45.

Despite Bloomingdale's 8-0 run to start the game, numerous shots failed to find the mark for both teams.

"This is a big neighborhood rivalry, and I think being anxious led us to try too hard and caused us to miss some big shots," Newsome coach John Mackey said.

Bloomingdale's quick tempo seemed to wane midway through the first quarter, and their eight-point lead was cut to one at the start of the second.

Led by Joe Raga with 16 points, Newsome tied it just before halftime but couldn't take the lead.

In the second half, all of that changed.

Samal Shepherd (12 points) proved the catalyst for the Wolves, providing them with their largest lead of the game, as well shifting momentum in his team's direction.

"In the third quarter we came out more relaxed. We shared the ball better, and we hit some big shots," Mackey said.

Bloomingdale's Callum Townsend was a difficult force to defend in the paint, scoring 26 points. Townsend tied the score with under two minutes to play following several lead changes. Then Jake Hodges scored two consecutive baskets to put Newsome up by four and give the Wolves the win.