After posting a convincing win again Sparta Friday night to close pool-play unbeaten, the Harrisburg Bulldogs met a familiar foe in Saturday's championship of the Ernie Bozarth Memorial Tournament, but it wasn't the result head coach Randy Smithpeters and company would've hoped for.
Murphysboro claimed its own tournament crown by posting a 65-51 victory over the Bulldogs in what was the first of three meetings between the clubs this season.
HHS (4-1) would get to within 22-17 with just over three minutes to play in the first half before the Red Devils (5-0) would close the quarter on a 12-4 run to lead 34-21 at the break thanks to a 3-pointer from Corbin Guthman to close the half.
"I think in the first half, one of the biggest factors is that we gave up seven offensive rebounds," said Smithpeters. "You can't do that in a game like this. You have to be as physical as what is required to get the job done, and we didn't get the job done on the boards."
Harrisburg couldn't find an answer to the Murphysboro tandem of Jaron Gaston and Jeremy House.
The two combined for 48 points and were both All-Tournament selections, with House earning MVP honors for the tournament.
"It was a very physical game," said Smithpeters. "The season is early and this is something we'll have to adjust to. We'll have to adjust to the athleticism that Muphy threw at us. One of the things we needed to do was run our offense. That was one of the things we really preached about before the game started was run your offense, run your offense. We didn't really do a good job of that."
DeMari Greenwood was also an All-Tournament selection from Murphysboro after finishing with five points in Saturday's contest.
Senior Isaiah Saulsberry finished with 18 points while Blake Drue added nine. Both were named to the All-Tournament team.
Sophomore Will Gibbs dropped in nine points off the bench, and senior Dalton Lambert scored eight points for the Bulldogs. Brayden Storms added five, and Jordan Bartok and Carl Russ each had a charity toss.
Harrisburg was able to pull to within nine points in the second half, but Murphysboro converted on 22-of-27 free throws and continued to find offense when it needed to in order to keep some distance between itself and the Bulldogs.
"Our deficit was greater in the first half and it seemed like we had a hard time closing it," said Smithpeters. "It seemed like when we would get close, there would be a bump in the road that would take us out of it."
The Bulldogs will open their home schedule and SIRR Ohio play in the same night when they host West Frankfort Friday at Davenport Gym before playing Saturday afternoon at Meridian.
Murphysboro 65 Harrisburg 51
Harrisburg 12 09 11 19 - 51
Murphysboro 15 19 10 21 - 65
Harrisburg (51): Saulsberry 7 2-3 18, Drue 3 2-4 9 , Lambert 3 2-2 8, Gibbs 3 3-6 9, Bartok 0 1-2 1, Russ 0 1-2 1, Storms 2 0 0 5. Totals: 18 11-19 51.
Murphysboro (65): Gaston 7 11-12 27, House 5 10-13 21, Morgan 4 0-0 9, Greenwood 2 1-2 5, Guthman 1 0-0 3. Totals: 19 22-27 65.
3-pointers: HBG 4 (Saulsberry 2, Storms, Drue), Murphy 5 (Gaston 2, House, Morgan, Guthman). Team Fouls: HBG 22, Murphy 16. Fouled Out: Drue, Bartok. Technicals: HBG bench. Records: Harrisburg is 4-1, Murphysboro is 5-0.
Harrisburg 60 Sparta 36
Sparta 06 11 07 12 - 36
Harrisburg 23 20 09 08 - 60
Sparta (36): Connors 0 1-2 , Clark 1 2-4 4, T. Williams 2 0-1 4, J. Williams 1 0-0 2, Herbert 1 0-0 3, Stefaru 1 0-0 3, Keen 4 0-1 9, Soderlund 2 0-0 4, Harris 1 0-0 2, Lucas 2 0-0 4. Totals: 15 3-6 36.
Harrisburg (60): Gibbs 1 0-0 2, Burtis 5 0-0 14, Drue 2 1-2 6, Russ 1 0-0 3, Sigler 1 0-0 3, Storms 2 0-0 5, Saulsberry 5 2-2 13, Penrod 1 0-0 2, Lambert 0 3-4 3, Bartok 4 1-2 9. Totals: 22 7-10 60.
3-pointers: Sparta 3 (Herbert, Stefaru, Keen), HBG 9 (Burtis 4, Drue, Russ, Sigler, Storms, Saulsberry). Team Fouls: Sparta 13, HBG 8.
Eldorado 62, Gallatin County 39>
Eldorado stayed hot -- and undefeated -- with a 62-39 win over Gallatin County Friday night.
The Eagles (7-0) put three players in double figures as Ray May led all scorers with 15 points. Braden Attebury tacked on 12 for Eldorado, while Joe Mayberry rounded out the double digit scoring with 11.
Gus Scott netted nine for Josh Bradley's crew, while Jacob Traxler scored seven points. Kale Oglesby finished with four points, while John Meredith and Connor Watt each had two points.
Eldorado forced Gallatin County into 22 turnovers and held the Hawks to just 12 field goals on the night, seven of which came from 3-point range. Gallatin County went 8-of-13 from the foul line, while Eldorado finished 11-for-17.
Gallatin County 70, Galatia 46
On Saturday night, Gallatin County picked up its first Greater Egyptian Conference victory with a 70-46 road win at Galatia.
Audie Goebel led Gallatin County with a game-high 22 points, 13 of which came in the first half as the Hawks led 35-21 at the break.
Gallatin County's (2-2, 1-0) Dawson Hish (17) and Robbie Prince (18) also finished in double figures as Aaron Walters just missed double digit scoring with nine points and Garrett Rushing finished with four.
Will Pulliam had a team-high 17 points for the Bearcats, while Austin Stevens tacked on 12 points to finish in double figures for Galatia.
GHS was helped out in scoring by seven points from Joel Glenn, while Austin Pritchett scored six points. Garrett Beers finished with five points, while A.J. Hankins flipped in four. Bent Mitchell and Braxton Lane all had two points.
Gallatin County returns to action Friday at home against Pope County, while Galatia is slated to host the Pirates tonight (Tuesday) starting at 7:30 p.m. Galatia rounds out the week Friday at Crab Orchard.