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Rivals collide: Frogs edge Skins

Hard-driving Mike Seawell (11) attempts a layup with Bullfrog Will Whited defending. Seawell scored a game-high 22. MAGGIE BECK/UNION DEMOCRAT
The Bret Harte Bullfrogs avenged an early-season loss to their rival the Calaveras Redskins on Friday night with a 60-55 victory in Angels Camp.

In the first meeting, the Redskins narrowly defeated the Bullfrogs 47-45 on Dec. 8 in the Bret Harte Tournament.

Since the 2006-07 season, the Frogs and Skins have played each other 21 times with Bret Harte holding a 13-8 advantage. The Frogs have scored 1,084 points in that span while the Redskins have accumulated 1,019. The average score when these two teams meet is 51.6-48.5.

And, as per usual, Friday night’s clash in front of a packed gym was a nailbiter throughout.

“The gym was packed and I was a little nervous with how the kids were gonna respond,” said Bret Harte head coach Jeff Eltringham. “But they responded great and gave everything they had. Both teams, both ways played really hard. There was a lot of emotion. Calaveras was very physical, well-coached and well-prepared.”

The Redskins took a quick 15-10 lead after the first quarter but the Frogs rallied to lead 23-22 at halftime. Heading to the fourth quarter, the Frogs maintained a 34-31 advantage.

But a track meet ensued in the final eight minutes with both teams filling the basket.

The teams combined to score 50 points in the final quarter after they had tallied 65 through the first three quarters.

“We did a good job on the boards, especially Rodney Riner, and I was happy with our defense on their dribble penetration,” said Eltringham. “And that’s hard to do because they can all attack the basket. But it came down to making big shots and we did that.”

Bret Harte (11-5, 3-1 Mother Lode League) was successful using a blanced scoring attack.

Tyler Evans scored a team-high 15 points while Will Whited and Conor Zumbach each scored 13 points, Brandon Kelly had 10 points and Riner five.

“I’m proud of our balance,” said Eltringham. “We’re spreading the ball and passing and building trust in each other.”

The Redskins were led by Mike Seawell, who scored a game-high 22 points.

Also for Calaveras (5-10, 1-3 MLL), Wyatt Madrid scored 15 points and Devon burton added 12.

“Seawell was tough to stop and keep in front of us,” said Eltringham. “He was aggressive driving to the basket.”

The Bullfrogs next will host the Linden Lions (2-12, 1-3 MLL) while the Skins will welcome Argonaut (3-13, 1-3 MLL) to Mike Flock Gym. Both games are on Tuesday and tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

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