The Miles Bulldogs (11-14, 4-4 in district) hosted and ran roughshod over the Ozona Lions on February 11th. The Lions have just a single victory on their season. The Bulldogs more than doubled up the Lions, taking the game 66-30. It was the second time in 3 weeks that Miles has defeated Ozona. Their first meeting was on January 24th and ended with Ozona falling by the score of 59-26.

One of the Miles Bulldogs’ greatest weapons is their speed. They are fast on offense and fast on defense. They move quickly, they make sharp passes and they always demand your best effort if you plan on defeating them. Ozona came out of the starting blocks with a solid defensive effort that seemed to deteriorate as the game progressed. The closest that the Lions would come to challenging the Bulldogs was a 2-2 tie just over 2 minutes into the game.

The frustration was apparent on the faces of the Lions’ players as well as their coach, Jeff Shelton. The game was typical Bulldogs’ basketball: fast and physical. By the time that the score reached that 2-2 tie, Miles already had 1 foul and Ozona had 2 fouls. Miles would add 2 points off a bucket by #3 junior Gavin Martinez while Ozona would add another foul. The score was 4-2 when Miles began to separate themselves from the Lions.

The score stood at 9-2 before the Lions added another bucket. By that point Miles had 3 fouls to Ozona’s 4, still in the 1st period. Miles’ freshman forward Shelton Petrey added a short jumper and Miles went on top 11-4. The Lions had also added 2 fouls to finish the 1st period tied with Miles at 6 fouls apiece. The score was 11-5 when the buzzer sounded.

The 2nd period began with Miles picking up the pace. Ozona made some fouls as Miles’ senior #20 Stihl Hoffman hit a free throw and Ozona dropped in a short jumper, bringing the score to 12-7. The score was 20-7 before Ozona scored their next basket. With the score at 20-9, Miles stepped up the pace of the game again. By this point there had been 15 fouls in the game, 8 for Ozona and 7 for Miles and the increased pace didn’t help the matter. Miles would go into halftime with a 27-11 lead as the teams combined for a total of 19 fouls in the first half.

In the 3rd period Miles came out at full speed, keeping the Lions on their heels the rest of the game. The Ozona game was sloppy and they had to foul to slow down the Bulldogs. Their coach, Jeff Shelton, was growing more frustrated with uncalled fouls by the minute. His players were also growing frustrated. That frustration manifested itself with back-to-back technical fouls. The first foul was on Ozona’s #11 and the second one was on coach Shelton. The refs gave Shelton his technical after only the first free throw of the first technical. In the 2nd period the refs had called a timeout to talk to Shelton about his yelling.

One of the most obvious traits of the Bulldogs over this season is that they have the attitude of their coach, Kully Hoffpauir. When the other team is down and reeling from blow after blow, the Bulldogs feed off of their despair and frustration. The Bulldogs senior point guard, #1 Davian Martinez and the rest of the team are not merciful. The Bulldogs will demand your best, no matter if you’re beating them or losing to them. It’s not up to them to let you score easy points; it’s up to you to put the ball in the basket. The more you lose your resolve, the stronger the Bulldogs grow and soon the entire team is feeding off of each other’s energy.

Ozona only managed to put another 19 points on the board in the 4th period, while Miles ran away with the game. The Bulldogs were hitting 2 shots to every 1 shot by Ozona. With 2 minutes to go in the 3rd period, the score was 40-19. The game would come to a close with Miles winning, 66-30.

Next the Bulldogs will host Forsan on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14th. Forsan is 14-17 on the season and 5-3 in district play. It should be a good matchup that will require dedicated play from either team to win. Forsan has put up about 200 points more than Miles on the season, but the Miles defense has the ability and fortitude to step up when called on and can stop even the most potent offenses. Forsan defeated Miles 45-37 in Forsan on January 28th so the Bulldogs will be looking for some redemption in front of their home crowd.

The Bulldogs will finish off the season on the road against Winters on Tuesday, February 18th and should head into the playoffs with some momentum.