By Tim Chambers
A hungry herd of Longhorns hadn’t entered the regional tournament as the top seed since 1984. On Saturday they took a bite out of the Bulldogs from Claiborne to reach the semifinal round for the first time in 10 years.
A jammed-packed partisan crowd watched the Longhorns prevail 55-47 inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium on Saturday night. But things didn’t look promising after the first eight minutes.
It was a roller-coaster ride for the Longhorns during the first quarter. They jumped on top 6-2 behind a pair of trifectas from Brian Dempsey and Dalton Timbs, but proceeded to miss their next six shots.
Head coach Austin Atwood felt like it was a chess match from the get-go.
“I never could get a good grasp on the game,” Atwood said. “We never appeared to be in sync offensively. We were fortunate to play a good game down the stretch. Defensively we didn’t jump the ball but give them credit because they’re really athletic. I think our kids got caught up in our great crowd early but settled down after that. It’s a good win for this team. We’re happy to be moving on to the second round.”