Eaton Rapids nearly erased a 13-point second-half deficit, but Mason held on for a 61-54 CAAC Gold win Friday night.
Garry Seay came off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points for the Greyhounds (1-4 overall, 1-2 CAAC Gold), who trailed 44-31 with two minutes left in the third quarter, but came back to within one point in the fourth.
“We finished when we made our runs, but we missed a lot of layups and a lot of open shots,” Eaton Rapids coach Luke Brown said. “But give credit to Mason, they’re always a strong physical team, they played great defense and we didn’t handle that very well.”
Doug Bradfield scored a team-high 13 for the Bulldogs, who blew open a tie game with a 13-0 run that straddled halftime, scoring the last eight points of the second quarter and the first five of the third.
Mason coach Lee Chaney said that the key to that spurt was simply execution of the half-court offense.
“We got the ball to our bigs,” Chaney said. “We finally passed the ball to them and they finished. Those were the best entry passes we’ve made all year.”
Seay scored six of his points during a 12-2 run that reeled Mason almost all the way back in two minutes into the fourth quarter.
A tip-in by ER sophomore Sheldon Holmes narrowed the gap to 49-48 with 4:32 left in the game.
The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-2) scored the next eight points in the span of 1:10 to open up some breathing room, and held on from there. Seay scored his and his team’s last points of the evening from the free-throw line, converting both ends of a 1-and-1 to make the score 57-54 with 2:04 on the clock, but Eaton Rapids could get no closer.
“They came back twice on us, and we stayed in there,” Chaney said. “I’m awfully proud of them, three times now we’ve come down the stretch (in a close game) and we’ve been able to hang on to all three.”
Stone Miller scored 11 points and Nick Sjolund added 10 for the Bulldogs.