By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Southern Eagles suffered their largest loss of the season, 68-46, to Dunbar (12-12) Tuesday at home.
The Eagles (10-13) once again fell behind by double digits early, 22-10, after one quarter and 37-25 at the half.
Despite an 8-2 run to open the second half that pulled the home team to within six, 39-33, Southern couldn’t handle the size and quickness of the Bulldogs and never threatened after that.
“It wasn’t our best effort. It’s the worst we’ve been beaten all year,” Southern coach Shane Buttry said.
Several times this year Southern has fallen behind early but fought and scratched their way back into the games and had opportunities to win them.
That wasn’t the case Tuesday, once they cut it to six points, they didn’t capitalize on several opportunities later in the game to get back into.
Buttry said that was disappointing this time of year.
“In other games like this, we’ve gotten down and we’ve come back and we’ve taken the fight to them. Tonight we played tight,” Buttry said. “Their quickness bothered us a little bit and they killed us on the boards. Guys that usually score a lot didn’t. We also missed 11 free throws and a lot of shots in the lane. When you do that you better be playing great defense to win and we didn’t do that either.”
Senior Devante Linville and junior Tanner Kidwell were two Eagles who hit the floor fighting and never let up.
Kidwell finished with a team-best 13 points, while Linville added eight points. But it was the hustle on defense and their effort on the boards that kept the Eagles as close as they were.
Southern fell behind 7-1 to begin the game before a three-point play by Stacy Burns and a basket by Kidwell pulled them to within 7-5.
Dunbar outscored Southern 8-2 to go up 18-7 before Burns buried a three-pointer to make it 18-10.
A 10-1 run by Dunbar to end the first quarter and start the second gave the Bulldogs a 27-11 lead.
A layup by Kidwell began a 7-2 spurt by the Eagles to cut it to 30-18, but Dunbar stretched it out to 37-12 at the half.
Linville and Burns opened the second half with consecutive coast-to-coast layups to cut the lead to 37-29.
After a Dunbar basket, Trevor Huff and Kidwell baskets pulled the Eagles to within 39-33 but that was as close as they got the rest of the way.
Burns had eight points, while Huff finished with seven points, Michael Jefferson had six points and Caleb Miller and Andrew Miller had two points each.
The Eagles will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to Bourbon County. Southern returns home on Friday for a Senior Night contest with Western Hills.