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By Shawn Roney-For The Richmond News
What a difference a year and a preseason jamboree can make.
Hardin-Central sophomore Clifton Kugler, junior Wyatt Craven and coach Ken Layman agreed the boys basketball team’s recent jamboree with Carrollton and Meadville helped prepare the Bulldogs for last Monday’s 72-50 season- and home-opening win over Santa Fe.
“We had lot of stuff we worked on in practice that the coach pointed out (to us) after the … (jamboree),” said Craven, whose 29 points paced the Bulldogs in the non-conference win. “I think that helped a lot.”
Kugler, who contributed 18 points, felt that the jamboree helped get the first-game butterflies out of Hardin-Central’s collective system. In 2012, the Bulldogs didn’t participate in a jamboree and they “weren’t so ready for” their season opener at Santa Fe. They lost 71-39.
“It was a lot different … (this year than) last year, I can tell you that,” he said.
Layman felt that the jamboree helped the Bulldogs emotionally in another way.
“Santa Fe made their little runs – and I think, by playing in that (jamboree), we were confident enough in our play that we knew we could recover from them,” he said.
The Bulldogs also showed they could recover from trading leads with the Chiefs. Both teams led during the first quarter. Hardin-Central led 9-6 at quarter’s end.
The Bulldogs took control by outscoring the Chiefs 22-13 in the second quarter. Craven felt that ball movement helped Hardin-Central’s second-quarter scoring.