SPORTS HEADLINES

Basketball: Guard shines for Bulls

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, January 24, 2015
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Heading into Tuesday’s frenzied, top-15 showdown, the spotlight was centered on the Bridgeport Bulls’ newcomers – Caleb Smith, Devonte Patterson, Keenan Holdman and Ethan Chapman – who have turned them into the No. 6 team in 4A.

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

The foursome delivered in Bridgeport’s 78-55 victory. Smith’s quick hands on defense and silky smooth moves around the basket made for a long night for Decatur as he finished with 22 points.

Patterson electrified a standing-room only crowd with his third-quarter ending drive through the lane for an emphatic dunk.

Chapman showed his range on the perimeter, splashing down a 3-pointer from 25 feet out while Holdman gave Decatur guards no breathing room with his tight defense.

But it was the lone Bull in the starting lineup Tuesday who was also on the floor last spring when Bridgeport fell to Frisco Lone Star in bi-district that truly changed the game. Guard Jacob Delangel made the Eagles pay for leaving him open to concentrate on Bridgeport’s version of the fantastic four with four 3-pointers and 18 points. He hit two in the second quarter as the Bulls put the game away with an 11-0 run.

“They left me open and everyone was telling me to take the shot,” Delangel said. “That opened it up for my teammates.”

On the biggest night of the season for the Bulls against their long-time rival and a top-15 team, Delangel’s performance was huge. But it will certainly pay dividends later in the spring as the Bulls hit the playoffs.

When playoff opponents begin scouting the Bulls, they will look at the film of the Decatur game. They will now have to account for an additional scoring threat instead of dedicating resources to Patterson and Smith.

Also, like Tuesday when Holdman and Chapman were called for early fouls, the entire Bulls roster know they can look to Delangel to help carry the load with confidence. Even more important Delangel himself will know he can get the job done.

“We’ve told Delangel that he was going to hit big shots,” Green said. “He’s one of our hardest workers. He doesn’t need to be surprised by success.”

As the Bulls move forward, Patterson, Smith and company will dazzle fans and opponents. But to get where they want and possibly could get in March – the Alamo City – it will take the efforts of everyone on the Bridgeport roster. It’s something Delangel showed Tuesday and pointed out on his biggest night.

“This is a nice win. Hopefully we can build on it,” he said. “We can play great basketball as long as we play together. Teamwork wins championships.”

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