The GMC Prep boys basketball team was beaten handily by the defending Class A-Public state champion Hancock Central Bulldogs Wednesday. The struggling GMC Bulldogs continued their rough start to the year with a 77-50 loss, falling to a 1-8 season record with the defeat.
The home team got off to a hot start, keeping the first quarter close against their undefeated region rivals. They ended a highly competitive opening period trailing 21-13.
“I thought we started off on fire, and we were moving the ball well,” said head coach Lee Coleman. “It was a bounce back from yesterday’s game, where we played much worse.”
GMC senior Jordan Bradley got off to a blistering start, hitting his first three three-point attempts to bring the home crowd to life. However, the second quarter saw the crowd favorites slow down as their formidable opponents began to pull away.
Starting GMC point guard Justin Wallace ran into early foul trouble as he had to watch his teammates from the sidelines for much of the first half. Meanwhile, Hancock Central point guard Jamal Taylor got off to an incredible start with a double-digit scoring effort in the first period.
In the second quarter, GMC freshman Isaiah Womble caught fire as he scored on several impressive plays, including a euro-step layup. Teammates Davis Duke and Yasir Saleem helped the home team’s effort with some key baskets.
Still, this effort was not enough for GMC to close the gap. They ended the half trailing by 13 points.
The second half began in heavy favor of the visiting Bulldogs as Taylor continued to shred the home defense. In a one-sided third quarter, GMC was outscored 19-6. Hancock senior Leroy Wilson had a few big three-pointers to extend his team’s lead.
Despite their considerable deficit, GMC fought hard in the fourth as Wallace found some rhythm at the free-throw line. Bradley had a few more buckets, finishing the outing with 14 points. He shot 3-for-5 from three-point territory on the evening.
Outscored by just a single point in the final period, GMC ended the night with a hard-fought loss to an impressive region opponent. While they came up short Wednesday, the home Bulldogs improved upon their last meeting with Hancock Central, a game they had lost 92-50.
A big area of concern for GMC was their rebounding. They struggled to box out the big Hancock frontcourt throughout the contest, resulting in a plethora of second-chance points for the visitors.
“We have to work on boxing out,” Coleman said. “If we boxed out and got more rebounds, it would have been a really close game.”