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Defense clamps Owls

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Tony Cooper passes to teammate Michael Kenney.Tony Cooper passes to teammate Michael Kenney.

By Brian Besch
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The Bulldogs were barking on the defensive end, dominating for three quarters, as Corrigan-Camden defeated Chireno 53-27 Tuesday in north Polk County.

The game was filled with technical fouls and a lockdown press. Four times (three for Chireno) a technical foul was called in the contest, two within two minutes of tipoff.

The Bulldog press kept the Owls without buckets, as they struggled to just 13 points through three quarters.

“This is the third time we have played Chireno, because we played them once in a tournament,” Bulldog coach Greg Devers said. “We are 3-0, but I hate playing teams three times, especially district teams. They ran a box-and-one the first two times. Today, they ran a triangle-and-two against (Brodgrick) Price and Tony (Cooper). What really worked – it wasn’t the offense that we ran against that – our press looks good. Us getting back on the press, we call it the block party, but I don’t know how many blocks we had tonight.”

The Bulldog offense also struggled at times, but it would not matter. The Owls scored more in the fourth quarter than the opening three combined.

“They scored one point in the third quarter,” Devers said. “It was 31- 12. I looked at the scoreboard and asked my players, ‘Did they just score one point in that quarter?’ Of course, in the fourth quarter, they had a lot with trash points at the end. Everybody was having a little fun right there. I have eight players on the varsity and all eight are seniors. I wanted to make sure they had fun tonight. I thought it was going to be a lot closer, but we turned out and did a pretty good job.”

Chireno spread their 27 points between nine players. Corrigan was led by Cooper with 14, Talan Gulley with 13 and Michael Kenney with 11, but all eight players scored.

The ‘Dogs are headed to the playoffs for the second consecutive season under Devers. The school went through a postseason dry spell before Devers took the position, but will have one last chance with this group of eight seniors.

“We came off a tough loss to No. 16 San Augustine last Friday, which cost us being (district) co-champs. We will finish in second place, and to be honest with you, right now I think we have a very favorable draw. It looks like it’s going to be either Timpson or Garrison. They are playing tonight. If Timpson wins, we will play them, but if Garrison wins, we will wait till next Tuesday.”

Before the game, Devers was honored for his 42 years in basketball. He has decided to retire at the end of the season. He embarked on a coaching career as an assistant in 1982. Over the course of 19 years as head coach, Devers guided teams to the playoffs 14 times, securing eight district titles and earning coach of the year seven times. In 2013, he was recognized as the Greater Houston Area All-Star Coach and has led two teams to the state’s final four.

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