Foul trouble sinks Burgin in semifinals

January 29, 2004|MARTY WARREN

Foul trouble and turnovers proved fatal in the 12th Region All "A" Classic Wednesday as Burgin dropped a 77-63 semifinal decision to Somerset at Danville High School.

Starting guard Sean Bottoms picked up his second and third fouls in a 30-second span late in the first period with Burgin (8-8) leading 15-10. After Bottoms exited the game, the Bulldogs couldn't handle the Briar Jumpers' pressure defense and Somerset went on a 13-0 scoring run to grab a 23-15 advantage.

"Bottoms picking up his third foul really hurt us," Burgin coach Don Irvine said. "I'm not a big fan of taking out a player with two fouls and his third foul came 30 feet away from the basket. I felt like we needed him in the game and it just didn't work out for us."

The Bulldogs turned the ball over four times in the first frame, but with Bottoms out Burgin committed seven turnovers in the second period. Somerset (9-7) took advantage by going inside and score.


"Five on five, Somerset has better personnel than we do," the Burgin coach said. "They started picking us up out higher on the floor, we turned the ball over and they started getting easy baskets. Then when they got into their half-court offense, we didn't do a good job with our help side defense. We have to do a better job in that area if we want to be competitive."

Bottoms returned to the line-up with 5:48 to play in the half and Somerset leading 23-15, but Burgin's problems mounted when center Joe Harris encountered foul problems of his own.

Harris continued to play through the foul difficulty and scored six points to keep the Bulldogs close for a while, but Somerset countered when Nathan Bray scored five points and Ryan Jamison scored on a lay-up just ahead of the horn to lead 36-24 at the break.

Burgin received only four points from senior Zack Gross in the first half, and Irvine said he needed more out of him when Bottoms went out.

"I thought he looked to pass first and shoot second, and that is just not his game," Irvine said. "We really needed his leadership at that point."

Somerset went on a 7-2 run to start the third frame, but Burgin battled back when Gross scored five points, Harris four and Bottoms nailed a trey to cut the lead to 47-38. Somerset went on an 11-4 run to close the period and led 58-42 entering the fourth quarter.

"We need to be more consistent and do more than one thing well," Irvine said. "We made a nice run to get back in the game, then our defense let us down."

The fourth quarter became a free throw shooting contest as both teams reached double bonus status early. Harris finally fouled out at the 4:43 mark and Burgin could get no closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Burgin took 18 less shots at the basket due in part to 23 turnovers.

Both teams shot the ball well as Burgin connected on 18 of 37 tries for 49 percent while Somerset hit on 28 of 55 attempts for 51 percent.

The Bulldogs, after hitting just one of their first five attempts from the charity stripe, finished the game 21 of 28 while the Jumpers made 16 of 23 tries.

The rebounding totals were even at 28-28. Bray led Somerset with nine rebounds while Daniel Howard and Bobby Wylie pulled off five missed shots each for Burgin. Somerset committed only 10 turnovers.

"On nights where we have been successful, we have received more from our four and five guys," Irvine said. "We didn't have that tonight. The effort was there in spurts tonight. We just need to play hard all the time."

SOMERSET (9-7) - Nathan Bray 15, Ryan Jamison 20, Ray Norman 14, Josh Thompson 17, Neal Tucker 4, Andy Megargel 3, Heath Randall 4.

BURGIN (8-8) - Zack Gross 15, Sean Bottoms 23, Joe Harris 16, Daniel How-ard 2, Daniel Loane 4, Chris Perkins 3.

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