The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

First step towards glory

The varsity men’s basketball team advances to the second round of the state playoffs
Shelton Henderson rises over the Jersey Village defender and converts the and-1 finish.

This is it.
Win and move on.
Lose and the dream is over.

The Bellaire Cardinals began their hunt for the state championship on Tuesday, Feb. 20 with a 65-42 win over the Jersey Village Falcons.

While the final score suggested a dominant blowout by the Cardinals, the first half was a much tougher battle. Both teams traded buckets and the lead, as multiple defensive breakdowns by Bellaire allowed the Falcons to knock down open three-point shots, keeping the score close. Despite the shot-making of the Falcons, the Cardinals were still able to take a slim 27-24 lead going into halftime.

“I think the first half was a good wake up call with it being the first round so that we can pick it up moving on and make a state run,” junior guard Kohlman Dutton said.

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As the second half began, Dutton led an entirely different team out of the locker room. Going on a 11-0 run to start the third quarter, the Cardinals pulled away a big lead and never allowed Jersey Village back into the game.

“I had to tell myself that my team needed me,” Dutton said. “I had to lock back in at halftime because I had been letting the refs and outside noise dictate my game, so I decided to focus on the Xs and Os.”

Another part of the team’s turnaround was a focus on playing better defensively. This started with shutting down the star guard for the Falcons, Gavin Davis, who scored four of their three-pointers in the first half. A big part of the defensive assignment fell on senior Joshua Washington who shadowed Davis for a large part of the second half.

“I kind of got in his head and made sure he didn’t get the ball,” Washington said. “I can’t let him get the ball and can’t let him shoot, that’s what the coaches told me.”

Washington played a key role in Bellaire’s defensive adjustments to start the second half, switching on every pick and putting pressure on the ball handlers to force turnovers. These adjustments ruined the flow of the Falcons’ offense, allowing the Cardinals to dominate the half and advance to the next round.

“We just had to look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we’re better than this,” Dutton said. “We disrupted their offense very well like Coach Glover is always preaching and forced a lot of turnovers.”

The Cardinals will try to keep their season alive against Fort Bend Travis in the second round on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

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