Shands Gymnasium at Angelina College is a beautiful basketball arena, complete with all the bells and whistles; although the Rusk Eagles may beg to differ.
That's because the Red and Black could not buy a basket in the second half of their Class 3A, Region III bi-district game against Pollok Central at Shands on Monday night, and as a result the Bulldogs were able to knock off the Eagles, 52-34.
Rusk, the fourth-place team out of District 19-3A saw its season end at 12-16, while the District 18-3A-champion Bulldogs (25-9) will move on to play either Taylor or Waco Connelly in Area action later this week.
For Rusk, it was its first venture into post season play since the 2009-10 season.
After a closely contested first half that saw Central take a precarious, 27-22, lead into the locker room at the half, the wheels came off of the bus offensively in the second half where the Eagles were able to sink just four field goals in the final 16 minutes of play, despite having their share of decent looks at the basket.
Central bumped its advantage up to 11 points, 37-26, following three quarters of play and was never threatened in the final segment.
Chase Ponson drained four treys on the night and finished with a game-high 18 points for the Bulldogs, while George Brown chipped in 15.
For the Eagles, Ray Foreman led the way with 15 points, followed by P.J. Tilley with seven and Jadarian Skinner, who tossed in six.
Completing the scoring for the Red and Black were Chase Stanley with three, Isiah Francis with two and Taylon Sturns who had a free throw.
The game marked the end for seven Eagle seniors.
That group included, Sturns, Skinner, Stanley, Foremen, Josh Ruiz, Aaron Franks and Jayson Anderson.