BRISTOL - With 24 minutes of basketball played and one quarter to go, the Bristol Eastern boys basketball team was down 34-21 to Bulkeley and looking for any kind of momentum to spark a comeback.
The Lancers were able to do just that after.
Following a Tevin Scott 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs, the Lancers took over the game and dominated Bulkeley in every face of it controlling the tempo, causing turnovers and hitting big shots on offense en route to a huge 21-point fourth quarter and 58-55 overtime win for Bristol Eastern on Thursday night.
The victory snapped a six-game losing streak, giving the Lancers their first win in the month of January.
Mac Goulet led the charge offensively with 27 points on the night. Goulet and Brendan Gayle put the game on their shoulders in the overtime period as the duo accounted for all 16 of the Bristol Eastern points.
“In the fourth quarter we all shot our shots that we knew we could make,” Goulet said. “We played within ourselves and all the shots started to fall down.”
The first half was a struggle for Bristol Eastern on the offensive end of the floor.
While the Lancers held the Bulldogs to just 20 points, nothing was falling on the offensive end of the floor.
“When our offense isn’t working like in the first three quarters we needed our defense to keep us in that game,” Bristol Eastern’s Camryn Tate said. “Without our defense we wouldn’t have won that game.”
Extra possessions didn’t do Bristol Eastern any favors as Bulkeley controlled the offensive glass throughout the first half leading to second shot opportunities.
From the start, the Bulldogs outhustled the Lancers and had a pair of offensive boards on their first possession of the game.
“The first three quarters they were definitely getting to the ball more,” Tate said. “They wanted it more.”
Down 9-1 in the first, the Lancers got a pair of 3-pointers from Elijah Parent and Nate Silva.
With it, Bristol Eastern trailed 13-7 at the end of the first.
The second quarter wasn’t as friendly.
Mac Goulet was the only offense in the second quarter, scoring all four of Bristol Eastern’s points.
Goulet finished the first half with five points.
At the half the Lancers trailed 20-11.
Coming in to the second half, Bristol Eastern was looking for more.
The effort wasn’t there in the third though.
Outscored 14-10 Bristol Eastern entered the final quarter down 13. Following the Scott basket to start the fourth, the Lancers went on a 12-0 run.
Goulet started the run off with a pair of layups, including an and-one opportunity that he missed at the free throw line.
Following Goulet’s points, Silva knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to extend the run to 10-0.
Trailing 37-31 Bristol Eastern’s Tyler Mason extended the run to 12-0 with a big layup.
Bulkeley’s Shavaign Green ended the run with a layup and the score was 39-33.
The Bulldogs KJ Edwin extended the lead to seven as he knocked a free throw in.
Down 40-33 the Lancers once again went on another run, this time capturing the lead for the first time in the game on it.
“I thought we created turnovers which led to easy baskets,” Bristol Eastern head coach Bunty Ray said. “When you’re chasing from behind and you catch them that fast like we did they started to panic and extend the floor on us, which allowed us to go in and get some baskets.”
Camryn Tate hit a pair of foul shots, Goulet hit a pair at the line, Mason drove and drew a foul as he watched his shot go in falling to the ground. Mason would knock in the free throw to tie the game up at 40-40.
Gayle stole the ball and was fouled by Edwin and went to the line with a chance to put his team ahead. He knocked in both free throws and Bristol Eastern took a 42-40 lead.
Finally the Lancers led but Scott wouldn’t let Bulkeley go down without a fight as he made a basket to tie the game 42-42 and that score would remain as the time in regulation ran out.
The Bulldogs Dayjon Washington knocked a pair down at the free throw line to go up 44-42 but that was the last lead Bulkeley would hold in the game as Goulet and Gayle dominated the overtime period.
With the win Bristol Eastern moves to 4-7 on the year and has nine games remaining on its schedule.
The Lancers will travel to take on Derby on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org