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CANNELTON—Cannelton used strong defense and rebounding to build a 22-point halftime lead and held on to beat New Harmony 50-37 to win the Bulldog Invitational boys basketball tourney Saturday.
The Bulldogs held New Harmony to 13.0 percent (3 for 23) field-goal shooting in the first half, including 0 for 10 from three-point range.
The Rappites also missed their first two three-point attempts of the second half.
But they made five of their next nine as they pulled within six points, 38-32, with 61⁄2 minutes left in the game.
They closed within five, 42-37, with less than three minutes left, as Cannelton had gone seven minutes without a field goal.
Then Cody Lawalin hit a three-point shot from the corner to build the Bulldogs’ lead back to eight points.
They hit 5 of 8 free throws the rest of the way to preserve their lead.
“I thought in the first half when we went to man-to-man we stifled them a little bit,” Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett said of his team’s defense.
The Rappites also had trouble penetrating Cannel-ton’s 2-3 zone defense in the first half.
But “in the second half we played soft,” said Garrett. “And New Harmony came out with more intensity. They were in danger of getting run out of the gym and they showed a lot of heart and character by not giving up.”
On offense Cannelton hit a higher percentage from the field in the second half (7 of 15) than in the first half (12 of 28). But the Bulldogs had more trouble getting shots in the second half.
“They went to a 1-3-1 zone and we attacked it exactly the way they wanted us to,” said Garrett. “We were attacking the middle, but that’s not necessarily the way to attack it—the corners are open against a 1-3-1.
“That three-pointer that Cody hit (from the corner) was a big basket for us.”
Justin Dooley led Cannelton with 15 points and Lawalin added 14.
Tyler Aud, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer for the season, was held to six field-goal attempts and scored just six points. But he had 12 rebounds and five assists.
Ethan Herzog and Dillon Powers each added six rebounds as Cannelton won the board battle 40-37.
Andrew McDaniel led New Harmony with nine points. Robert Perry grabbed 14 rebounds for the 3-7 Rappites.
Cannelton improved to 3-8 by avenging an earlier season loss for the second night in a row.
The Bulldogs will visit Tecumseh Saturday at 7:30 p.m.