By Andrew Glover
GLENCOE, Okla. —
Three-point shooting can make or break a team. In Friday’s semifinal of the Glencoe Tournament, it helped the Yale Bulldogs pull away in a 67-46 victory over the Southwest Covenant Patriots.
“We have a few kids that can shoot it a little bit,” coach Rocky Kennedy said. “They hit some big shots.”
Brady Eberhart hit five 3-pointers on his way to 19 points. Jake Winterbottom hit four 3-pointers to total 17. Eberhart said he works a lot on his shot.
“Me and Jake are in the gym every night working our shot,” Eberhart said. “We work on our shot so we can make them during a game.”
The Bulldogs (13-2) jumped out to an early lead. Southwest Covenant missed most of its shots and Yale didn’t allow very many second chance opportunities to hold a 17-8 lead after the first quarter.
“For the most part we defended well all night long,” Kennedy said. “It was going to be key because (Southwest Covenant) is a good team.”
The Patriots started the second quarter strong and cut the Bulldogs lead to 5. Kyle Perdew and Josh McMinn hit 3-pointers. Eberhart hit his third 3-pointer to spark a seven-point Yale run. The Bulldogs led 29-21 at halftime.
“We shot average for us,” Eberhart said. “I thought we hustled and played good.”
Just like the second, Southwest Covenant made a run to cut Yale’s lead to 30-26. Winterbottom hit two 3-pointers to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 10. The Patriots made another run toward the end of the quarter to cut Yale’s lead down to four. In the fourth quarter, Eberhart and Winterbottom hit threes to put Yale ahead by 11. The Bulldogs led by double digits the rest of the game.
“Those (3-pointers) were huge,” Eberhart said. “That gave us a spark and got us going again.”
Also contributing to the Bulldogs’ scoring was Konner Fowler, who made several inside shots for 11 points. McMinn and Kolton Brown led the Patriots in scoring with 13 points each.
The Bulldogs reached the championship game for the third time this season. Yale lost the Agra championship in December and won the Walking F. Ranch Classic a few weeks ago. Yale will meet undefeated Glencoe.
“The kids are playing hard and playing well,” Kennedy said. “It’s always one of their goals to get to the finals of the tournament.”
“Glencoe is a very good offensive team,” Eberhart said. “They are a big threat in Class A. We are going to have to come out and be ready to play.”