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Plenty of bark and bite

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Tony Cooper drives for the layup.Tony Cooper drives for the layup.By Brian Besch

Corrigan-Camden is rolling again in 2023, picking up wins versus quality opponents and facing some of the best in larger classifications. Tuesday, they were winners over Hemphill 82-49 in northern Polk County.

In just the second year under Coach Greg Devers, Corrigan looks to be tough to stop once more. Winners of District 24-2A last season, they are strong favorites to repeat.

The ‘Dogs handled the ball better, outran the Hornets, and were able to apply enough pressure on the press to convert easy buckets. The lead was double digits after a quarter, and 18 at the half. Finishing strong, they scored 25 points in the fourth.

“I didn’t know how this game was going to be. We had a weekend where we played a bunch of games and our legs are kind of tired,” Devers said. “We had an easy workout yesterday. Hemphill decided to get into a running game with us, too. We scored 82 points, but I think we should have put more on the board. We missed a lot of layups and a lot of open threes. I think five of our last six games, we hit double digits in threes, and I don’t even think we got close tonight. But, we got after it.”

The team was a little closer than the coach thought, with nine shots made from behind the arc. Five of those came in the fourth quarter. Talan Gulley led with 20 points, Tony Cooper had 19, and Brodgrick Price 18. By comparison, Hemphill’s high scorer had a dozen.

“I am down to about eight players after I moved one down,” the coach said. “I think we can go with an eight-man rotation. I think our main thing is we’ve got to get our legs under us and we’ve also got to get in shape to play 32 minutes, because we can’t sit down and play a half-court defense.”

Last weekend in bracket play, Corrigan-Camden defeated Claiborne Academy (from Louisiana), as well as tournament host Gary. They were then defeated by Martin’s Mill, the No. 1 team in Class 2A. They came back in the final game with a come-from-behind victory over Chireno.

“We still have a big one Friday against the No. 9-ranked team in 3A Kountze over in the Lion’s Den,” Devers said. “If we thought this was running up and down the court, it is really going to be running on Friday.”

The Bulldogs are not shying away from competition, as next week they host Class 2A No. 8 Evadale, play a ranked 3A in Orangefield, and a ranked 4A team in Tyler Chapel Hill in the Houston County tournament.

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