Bowling Green’s 12th straight win is undoubtedly its biggest one yet during its hot streak.
The Purples entered Monday night’s big District 14 matchup against longtime archrival Warren Central riding an 11-game win streak – and they remained hot, using an all-around impressive performance to earn a 79-62 win over the Dragons at Bowling Green High School.
“The Bowling Green-Central game is always exciting – for both teams,” Bowling Green coach Derrick Clubb said. “It’s just a great rivalry as good as you’ll find anywhere. Our kids are always excited, just like their kids are excited to play. Great crowd tonight, great atmosphere and I thought it was a really good basketball game.”
Bowling Green (15-3 overall, 3-1 District 14) held a tight 19-15 lead after the opening quarter and was up 40-30 at halftime. The Purples led by nine after three quarters before pulling away in the fourth for another victory.
“You definitely want to win all of your home games in district,” Clubb said. “This is a five-team district that is just a monster. You’ve gotta come out and play hard every night – doesn’t matter if it’s home or away. When you get those home district games and get those wins, it’s big for your program.”
Four different players finished in double figures for the Purples, led by Isaiah Mason’s double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Alongside Mason, Conner Cooper finished with 16 points, Turner Buttry scored 14 and Cobi Huddleston had 11. Dorian Morrison added seven for BGHS.
“We just knew we had to make them adjust to us,” Mason said. “We didn’t want to play to their level – we wanted to play to our level. We just played together, and that’s what we did.”
Dre Boyd led Warren Central (11-6, 1-1) with a game-high 20 points.
Bowling Green held a 14-8 lead late just under six minutes in, but Tayton Smith hit a 3-pointer to bring Warren Central to within 14-11 at the 2:24 mark of the first quarter. The Purples were up 17-15 with just seconds left, but Mason beat the buzzer with a turnaround jumper from the right corner to give the Purples a 19-15 advantage after one.
Morrison made a steal, sprinted down the court and threw down a thunderous one-handed slam dunk to put Bowling Green up 30-21, and a layup by Cooper made it 32-21 Purples at the 4:21 mark of the second.
“I was just playing defense and there was a bad pass, so I stole it and then it was a big crowd, so I was going to give them something to get hype about,” Morrison said of his play. “I just dunked it.”
A pair of Morrison free throws gave the Purples a 38-26 lead with 1:30 left in the half, and Bowling Green ultimately led 40-30 at the break. Mason, Cooper and Morrison had each scored seven points for the Purples, while Boyd and Geovonni Floyd were both up to six points for the Dragons.
Kamden Lawrence’s 3 brought Warren Central within 42-35 early into the third quarter, but Cooper knocked down one of his own to put Bowling Green up 47-38 at the 5:01 mark.
Boyd scored inside to cut the Dragons’ deficit to 54-45, but Dez Wilson closed the period with a fast-break bucket to put the Purples up 56-47 entering the fourth.
Boyd’s put-back basket cut Central’s deficit to 56-50 with 7:30 remaining – just before Mason and Cooper scored on back-to-back possessions to put Bowling Green up 64-54 with just over five minutes left.
“My teammates, they just trust me wth the ball,” Mason said. “They needed me to provide, so I just provided for them. Everybody contributed, so it wasn’t just me – it was everybody. We all contributed.”
Wilson scored inside, and Mason followed that up with a put-back to give the Purples a comfortable 73-58 advantage – and they were able to remain in front from there and record a marquee victory over Warren Central.
“We’ve had a tough stretch,” Warren Central coach Will Unseld said. “We’ve played four games in six days. We just didn’t handle it well. They did a good job – they made shots, we didn’t. They guarded, we didn’t. They did a good job tonight.”
Both teams are back in action Tuesday as Bowling Green hosts Christian County and Warren Central hosts South Warren. Both games are scheduled to tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
WCHS – 15 15 17 15 — 62
BGHS – 19 21 16 23 — 79
WC: Dre Boyd 20, Geovonni Floyd 13, Kamden Lawrence 11, Antonio Barbee 6, Tayton Smith 5, Tegra Muleka 4, Kobe Brents 3.
BG: Isaiah Mason 19, Conner Cooper 16, Turner Buttry 14, Cobi Huddleston 11, Dorian Morrison 7, Dez Wilson 6, Jaxon Banks 5, Trace Flanery 2.