Bulldogs edged out in basketball season opener
By Gerardo Bolong
FEDERAL WAY - Despite missing two starters and suiting only eight players, the SPSL 2A Foster boys basketball team gave NPSL 4A Decatur a stern test before key turnovers caused it to fall 67-62 in a season opening non league game on Mon., Dec. 2.
Trailing 55-46 with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs forged a fiery rally.
Jamari Severson followed a Nyel Hair free throw with a baseline basket.
Another Severson basket plus two Hair charity tosses cut the gap to 55-53 three minutes later, but two missed technical foul free throws by Hair kept the margin at two.
After the teams exchanged baskets, Decatur pulled away to a 60-55 lead.
Severson’s bucket later brought the Bulldogs within 60-58.
The lead stayed at two points until Daniel Hilton concerted a three-point play for the Gators as 22 seconds showed on the scoreboard clock.
Nygire Henderson notched a basket for Foster 29 seconds later, but Martin of the Gators closed out the scoring on a pair of free throws with one second remaining.
”The young kids kept fighting,” said Bulldog head coach Robert Graham, Sr. “I’m proud of our effort.”
The Gator Dome court was singed with red hot action from the beginning.
Quick openers, including three-pointers set a blistering pace as the Gators led 21-17 after the first quarter.
Foster guard Nyel Hair and Gabriel Martin for Decatur continued making their presences prominent.
Mainly behind Hair, the Bulldogs wiped out a 23-17 Decatur lead to assume a 27-23 lead five minutes into the second quarter.
Led by Martin, the Gators returned the favor to lead 30-27 before a halftime margin of 31-30.
Two Severson free throws had Foster ahead 34-33 as the second half ensued.
Forced and unforced Bulldog turnovers translated into a Decatur 42-34 control.
Trailing 45-38, Hair was fouled on a three-point basket and completed a four-point play to get the score to 45-42.
The Gators led 50-46 after three quarters and opened the third quarter with five points in a row to set up the final, frantic fourth quarter bedlam.
Foster retains a strong core of talent from last season’s 2A District team and is positioned to make another strong run this season.
Hair completed the action with a game-high 30 points. Markell Jackson and Severson earned 10 points each.
Martin finished with 20 points and was abetted by the 12 points of teammate Hylton. .