In what turned out to be a tale of two halves, the Canton Eagles outscored the Bullard Panthers by 13 points in the final 16 minutes of play to walk away with a 62-50 Class 3A, Region II bi-district victory Tuesday evening at Trinity Valley Community College's Cardinal Gymnasium.
Each team put on a show from three point land as a total of 17 rainbows found their way through the nets, with the Panthers connecting 10 times from beyond the arc.
Bullard head coach Shane Chambless reflected upon the Panthers' campaign following the game.
“We had a great season,” she said.. “Our kids worked hard all year and really made it a fun ride.”
Tough man-to-man defense by both teams made the teams work for the shots early on.
Two baskets by Brad Wiggins, and a 3-pointer from Reese Frosh spotted Canton to a hefty start at the 5:00-minute mark.
Down 7-0, and three-minutes off the clock, Panther point guard, Landen Beckham heated up to bomb four, 3-pointers, and Hunter Landrum added a trey as Bullard took a 16-11 lead after one quarter.
The scoring slowed as the man-to-man defense tightened against Bullard.
The defensive tenacity of the Eagles proved to be a difference-maker in the game, as the Eagles held Bullard to seven-points. Meanwhile, the Eagles canned three treys and took a 45-34 lead into the final period.
Sexton Adams came up big for the Eagles with 16-second half points, while Nixon continued to slice the lane for his 23-points to lead both teams.
After shooting 5-of-7, from three-point range in the opening quarter, the Panthers fell off until two NBA-type 3-pointers from Landrum, and one from Eschberger was too little too late in the final quarter as Canton sealed the win at the free throw line for the 62-50 final.
Canton was 12-of-14 at the charity stripe the final stanza. Bullard went 6-of-11, at the line for the entire game.
The 6-foot-4 Landrum wound up his senior season scoring a team-high, 16-points, made three treys, grabbed eight rebounds, four steals and dealt out three assists.
Panther, Beckham had 12-points with his four first quarter bombs to get Bullard started.
Canton will advance to play the winner of the North Lamar (20-9)-Rains (6-13), game played Tuesday night.
Bullard ends their season at 18-12, under third-year coach, Shane Chambless.
Class 3A, Region II Boys Basketball Playoffs
Canton 62, Bullard 50
Bullard 16 7 12 13 - 50
Canton 11 11 22 16 - 62
BULLARD – Kyler Whatley, 3; Zach Eshberger, 6; Major Tennison, 9; Landen Beckham, 14; Hunter Landrum,16; Eric Barb, 2.
CANTON – Kelly Nixon, 23; Sexton Adams, 16; Ryan Slider, 3; Brad Wiggins, 13; Reese Frosh, 7.
THREE-POINT GOALS – B: Beckham 4, Landrum 3, Eschberger, 2, Whatley. C: Frosh, Wiggins, Adams 3, Slider, Nixon.
RECORDS – Bullard 18-12. Canton 11-10.
NEXT UP – Bullard season over. Canton vs. winner of North Lamar/Rains, Fri., site and time TBD.