Hard work not enough for BKW Bulldogs

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

High flyer: Sophomore Justin Houck shoots a lay-up for Berne-Knox-Westerlo during the second half of Wednesday’s opening-round Class C playoff game at Rensselaer; he made the basket. Houck led the Bulldogs with 15 points, but the team lost, 63 to 54, ending its season.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Centered: The Berne-Knox-Westerlo basketball team lost its first-round Class C sectional game to sixth-seeded Rensselaer by 19 points on Wednesday night. Here, freshman Zack Hilton, who scored 11 points, puts up a one-handed shot in the first half.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Sea of bodies: Eddie Slaver, middle, of Berne-Knox-Westerlo, guards Rensselaer’s LaVontae Armwood, left, who scored a game-high 22 points for the victorious Rams in Wednesday’s Class C playoff game. BKW lost, 63 to 44, and will graduate six seniors this year. 

RENSSELAER — Hard work doesn’t always earn a win.

What the Berne-Knox-Westerlo basketball team had in quickness and determination, Rensselaer made up for in physicality and accuracy. In fact, BKW Head Coach Tim Moseman was certain that the Rams were the most physical team the Bulldogs had played all season.

“That’s a good team, very aggressive,” Moseman said after BKW’s 63-to-44 loss at Rensselaer in the Class C opening round on Wednesday night. “We knew we would have to come in and play aggressive. We tried, we battled, but they’re very athletic kids. We did everything we could.”

The Rams were able to out-rebound the Bulldogs by a wide margin, repeatedly getting second or third chances on the offensive glass. Also, plenty of missed shots and turnovers didn’t help BKW’s case.

“They have a lot of kids that go hard to the boards, and we couldn’t keep up with it,” said senior Maclin Norray, who scored 12 points for the Bulldogs. “It’s never easy. Not many teams get to end with a win.”

The first half was tight, but Jacob Forgea made a three-pointer just before halftime, and another one at the start of the third quarter to open up the game for Rensselaer. Sophomore Justin Houck made some key baskets for BKW, finishing with 15 points, but the team couldn’t get closer than eight points in the second half.

“We wanted to make our shots, but we missed a lot of them,” Moseman said. “The kids played hard, and that’s all you can ask for.”

LaVontae Armwood scored a game-high 22 points for the Rams; he placed his shots well, and seemed to have his nose in every play. Moseman had watched some film of Rensselaer before Wednesday’s game, but noticed during the game that the players were making shots from different spots on the court.

Also, the Rams were running right through the Bulldogs’ screens.

“We tried to box out, but didn’t really,” said Moseman. “Even the rebounds we did get; they just ripped it out of our hands.”

Norray told The Enterprise that Rensselaer is a strong team that he doesn’t see losing in the next round. However, he’s proud of how BKW played.

“It’s been great, and I couldn’t ask for much more,” said Norray, who played his last game. “Everyone played their heart out.”

As a first-year coach at BKW, Moseman finished with a winning record of 11-9. He said it was an exciting season.

“The kids worked extremely hard,” he said. “It was fun coming to practice every day.”

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