Photo/James Pugh

The “Dawgs” are Big House bound.

Bay Springs overcame a slow and jittery start on its home court to earn its fifth trip to the “Big House” in a decade. The Bulldogs defeated West Lincoln 80-53 Saturday night to advance to the MHSAA Class 2A boys quarterfinal round.

Head coach Corey Mackey knew the slow start was a good possibility.

“Coming out I kind of figured we would start slow,” said Mackey. “I kept telling myself and our team that once the first quarter was over so would the jitters of a big moment game.

West Lincoln jumped out in front by four early and held its lead till the 2:30 mark.

Junior guard Kevin Grimes put Bay Springs on top 8-6 with a contested layup basket in the latter portion of the first period. Grimes led all scorers in the contest with 22 points.

While continuing to build its lead, Bay Springs also relied on its defense. The Bulldogs held West Lincoln to just two points in over eight minutes of play in the first half.

“In the second period we just clamped down [on defense],” Mackey said. “We used fundamental defense and held them to two points [during that stretch]. Our guys gave us great defensive effort in the second quarter.”

 

 

Bay Springs outscored West Lincoln, 15-2, in the second period and led at the halfway point, 28-11.

In the third, West Lincoln came out draining one basket after another and managed to score more points in the eight-minute stretch than it had in the first two periods combined. But Bay Springs kept up the pace and more, outscoring West Lincoln 35-19 in the period.

“We started pushing the ball in the third period and got lax on defense,” said Mackey. “And West Lincoln hit some open shots. We got away from what we were supposed to do. But we were able to slow them back down again.”

West Lincoln tried its best to make up ground in the final stanza, hitting a total of seven three-point shots. Five West Lincoln players combined for the seven three-point baskets but were unable to make up any ground as Bay Springs maintained its distance.

JaCorrieous Moore and Austin Sigsworth also hit double-digits on the night. Moore netted 21 points, while Sigsworth added 19.

Bay Springs improves to 24-3 on the season and will play Ingomar in the Class 2A quarterfinal round Friday at the Jackson Coliseum at 9 a.m.