Branson Bulls trample Falcons


Willy Finley

Branson and Archie Williams players and coaches shake hands following the game Tuesday, Jan. 24.

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Archie Williams varsity boys basketball team faced Branson High School in the Falcons’ home gym. The Bulls entered the game as the clear favorite with a perfect MCAL record of 11-0, while the Falcons looked to improve their 5-6 record. While the Falcons played hard  the entire game, the Bulls crushed the Falcons 70-32. 

The Bulls  dominated the Falcons early in the game, jumping to an early seven point lead with the help of Bull’s star forward Jase Butler. The Falcons soared back, eventually closing the gap to just two points at the end of the first quarter. Junior guard Owen Bugas and senior forwards Jonathan Bear and Ben Beak contributed to the comeback with a three-pointer each.

Freshman forward Brian Wright jumps above Branson defender as he shoots the ball. (Willy Finley)

Starting the second quarter, the Falcons continued their momentum and kept the score within five points. Four minutes in, the Bulls began to hit their stride, stretching their lead to seven points. Butler and George Gale led Branson’s offense to 15 points in the remaining four minutes, ending the half with a 39-19 lead.

Junior guard Julian Nichol takes contact from Branson defender as he attempts to lay the ball in the hoop. (Willy Finley)

“For the first quarter and half of the second quarter, we really stayed with them,” said Falcons head coach Russell Bauer. “For us to battle with them 12 minutes into the game and be right there was definitely a positive.”

Following a poor second quarter performance, the Falcons’ began the second half with even less success. They managed to score just two points, while the Bulls amassed 22 and increased their lead to 40.

“As a coach, we’re striving to have a consistent four quarters of the game and sustain that sort of play for 32 minutes as opposed to 12,” Bauer said.

The Falcons returned to form in the fourth quarter. With the help of freshman Brian Wright’s six points, Archie Williams outscored the Bulls in the last quarter of the game. Nevertheless, the effort was well short as the Bulls defeated the Falcons 70-32.

With this loss, Archie Williams fell to fifth in the MCAL standings while Branson remained in first place. The Falcons need to finish the season well if they want a chance to compete for a playoff spot.

“I feel like [the game] was a good wake up call for us heading into the game against Redwood,” said junior Luke Calagari.