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OAKLAND CITY—Wood Memorial outrebounded Cannelton 38-22 and beat the Bulldogs 73-52 in their boys basketball season opener Wednesday.
Cold shooting by the Bulldogs, who looked a little hesitant or nervous in their season opener, didn’t help their cause.
They fell behind 11-1 before Ethan Herzog scored their first field goal on a 15-footer with 1:03 left in the first quarter.
Wood Memorial replied with an 18-foot basket by Hunter Ewin and a three-point play inside on a rebound basket and free throw by Charlie Gonzales to build its lead to 13 points, 16-3, with 7:28 left in the second quarter.
The combination of strong inside play by the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Gonzales and hot outside shooting by his teammates was too much for the Bulldogs to handle most of the night.
When the Bulldogs tried to collapse on Gonzales inside, his teammates hit open three-point shots.
They made eight three-pointers, including five by 5-foot-10 sophomore forward Hunter Ewin. He led the Trojans with 24 points.
Once the Bulldogs settled down, they hit 10 three-pointers themselves, including four by Ethan Herzog and three by Justin Dooley.
“We got off to such a crappy start--6 of 24 from the field in the first half,” noted Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “But we came out the second half and shot the ball pretty well. We shot real well the third quarter.”
They did not have the inside game to match Gonzales, though, as he was at least three inches taller than any Cannelton starter.
He finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
“That was expected,” said Garrett of the Trojan center’s big game on the boards. “I knew coming in we were going to have trouble with him.
“But I thought overall our defense looked pretty good. We put them on the line too much, though—we can’t let them shoot that many free throws.”
The Trojans hit 13 of 20 free throws while Cannelton made 6 of 15.
“I thought we did a nice job of cutting into their lead in the second half,” said Garrett. “We cut it to 10 (45-35 on a three-point basket by Tyler Aud with 1:38 left in the third quarter) and had possession.
“We needed a good look there, but we had a turnover. Then their lead went to 17 (on two fast-break layups and a three-pointer) and we were kind of deflated.”
Herzog led Cannelton’s balanced attack with 15 points. Aud scored 14 and Dooley added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds. He also had at least three assists.
Herzog made two steals.
Cannelton will visit Evansville Day Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.