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Bobcats Tame Royals in Lopsided Win

Feb 06, 2024

#23 Kyle Flavin

#33 Garrett Snyder

Point Lookout, MO - Returning to Keeter Gymnasium after a week with no games, the College of the Ozarks Bobcats were looking to build on the momentum gained from their 100-93 victory over Mission University last Monday. Visiting from Springdale, Arkansas, the Royals of Ecclesia College would be the next opponent for the Bobcats.

Defense and cold shooting was the trend to open the game as neither team could put points on the board. With nearly three minutes gone, Jay Baxter broke through with a power move inside and the scoring began. Ecclesia found their groove as well and went on a 7-0 run to take a 7-2 lead. A Kyle Flavin three and a pair of free throws pulled the Bobcats even and a couple of possessions later Flavin gave the Bobcats the lead. The tug of war was on, and the teams began trading baskets. Free throws by Garrett Snyder and Andrew Dalton were added to a Seth Soden three and the Bobcats led 16-14 with 11:18 remaining in the half. The back-and forth action continued and neither team was able to establish a solid run. A pair of Royals free throws and a bucket were matched with a Seth Soden two and the Bobcats took a timeout. A Jay Baxter drive for two out of the huddle was followed by an EC three and the Bobcats needed stops. Caleb Faulkner and Jay Baxter scored, and a Tyler Moore conventional three-point play maintained a slight Bobcat advantage. Garrett Snyder added four quick points and the Bobcat lead grew to 31-26 with 5:14 remaining in the half. In a fast-paced game, transition defense became a high priority and could prove to be the difference in the game. Snyder added another basket and Flavin drained a runner in the lane to boost the Bobcat lead to 35-29. With under two minutes left before the break, a Snyder three-point play gave the Bobcats their biggest lead, 38-29. The Royals answered with two quick buckets before a Snyder two sent the Bobcats to the intermission leading 40-33.

The fast-paced action continued as the second half began and Andrew Dalton put the first two points on the board for the Bobcats. Snyder and Baxter added to the lead and the Bobcats were up 46-37 with 16:44 remaining in the game. A Baxter drive for two gave the Cats their first double-digit advantage and the defense was getting stops to help the cause. The Royals responded with a basket, but Kyle Flavin provided the quick answer. Trading baskets again became the norm, and dribble penetration and free throws was the primary form of offense. A Caleb Faulkner three bumped the advantage but Ecclesia bounced back with a three-point play of their own to stay within eight, 56-48. The Bobcats continued to answer the Royal challenges, but the visitors from the south were not letting up. An Andrew Dalton bucket at the 10:37 mark gave the Cats a 60-50 advantage and Ecclesia took a timeout to regroup. If the Bobcats were going to pull away, it would take defensive stops. Coach Shepherd moved to a zone defense and a Royal turnover led to a Dalton bucket off a Flavin assist, bumping the lead to 62-50. A Dalton three-point play added to the lead and the Bobcats had something going. Dalton added a long range three on the next trip and Ecclesia was feeling the pressure. Now leading 68-50, the stops had come at the right time and the Bobcats were taking control. The Royals resorted to the three-point line for their offense against the zone and the shots were not falling. The Bobcats capitalized on the cold spell and built a 72-52 lead with 6:24 left to play. The Bobcats continued to attack while at the same time working down the clock. The Royals turned up the full court pressure and ball control became the top priority. A couple of empty trips for the Cats and a 7-0 run for the Royals cut the lead to 76-64 and things were getting interesting. Fortunately, a Jay Baxter pass to Andrew Dalton for a layup and a three-point play broke the string with 2:32 left to play. The Royals continued to attack the basket and utilize their trapping defense and the pressure was on the Bobcats to maintain their composure down the stretch. Caleb Faulkner was found wide open out of a trap and a three calmed the storm. A stop and a Dalton two rebuilt the lead and the Bobcats were content to run the clock down. Dalton drained another from deep with the shot clock running down and the Bobcats were seconds away from sealing the win. The next two trips ran down the clock and the Bobcats secured the 87-67 win.

Garrett Snyder led the way for the Bobcat offense with 26 points. Andrew Dalton added 22, Kyle Flavin chipped in 11, and Jay Baxter and Caleb Faulkner contributed 10 each to round out the double-digit scorers. Seth Soden tacked on five and Tyler Moore chipped in three in the win.

The Bobcats return to action this Saturday when they host Crowley’s Ridge College for Camper and Autograph Day at Keeter Gymnasium. Game time is 3 PM which will follow the Lady Cat game against Crowley’s Ridge.