CAMERON - Basketball is a game of runs. Whatever team can make the most runs and can recover from the other team's runs will be successful.
Case in point, Cameron's bout with Bridgeport Tuesday night on the Dragons home court.
The hosts went on a 24-7 run to close out the first half and the Bulldogs never fully recovered, resulting in an 83-78 Cameron victory.
Bridgeport’s Aaron Roth (0) shoots past the guard of Cameron’s Logan Routt (33) during their matchup Tuesday night.
''The second quarter really hurt us,'' Bridgeport coach Donnie Cash said. ''Our effort in the second half was great. We've been coming up short in games where we've been playing hard in four quarters, but tonight the second quarter was the difference.''
After a back and forth first quarter, the Dragons (6-6) trailed the Bulldogs (3-12) by one at 24-23, but that's when the hosts got hot, fueled by six points from Zach Hall, who finished the game with 10.
''Honestly, we wanted to come out and get up by 20,'' Cameron coach Chad Clutter said. ''I told our coaches, be prepared for them to come back and cut it to six or eight (points) sometime in the third quarter and we'll change what we need to do against them.''
Clutter must keep a magic ball around because that's exactly what happened as Bridgeport trimmed the 14-point halftime deficit down to nine heading into the final quarter.
''We had a chance to put them away, especially after our run in the second quarter, but they're a very physical, very quick athletic group of kids,'' Clutter said. ''I warned our kids about that at half time. They came out, penetrated our gaps and got some really good looks.''
It seemed as though the Dragons would be able to keep the Bulldogs at bay, but that's when the visitors went on a quick 8-0 spurt to get within two at 80-78 with 33 seconds left.
Hunter Chambers' shot on the ensuing possession was blocked by Jon Kreiter, giving Bridgeport back the ball with only seconds remaining, but Dallas Fields couldn't get the ball to drop to tie the game and Logan Routt was fouled as he grabbed the rebound.
''We just have to do the little things better,'' Cash said. ''There was a possession late, they missed a lay-up and not all of our guys sprinted back, and their guy stops at the foul line. Maybe we could have gotten a rebound and that's two points they don't get. It's been the same story every game, but until we learn to do it, it's going to be the same way.''
Fields led the Bulldog's attack with 22 points, while QJ Williams and Parker Dyson ended their nights with 19 and 15 points, respectively.
''We were able to stick to our 2-3 zone,'' Clutter said of his defense. ''(The Bulldogs) weren't shooting all that well from the outside, so I think we did a good job of containing them.
''What we did better in the second half was, we were able to get 12 offensive rebounds where we only got two in the first half. That was something else we addressed at halftime. Those points really helped us out.''
Mark Walker had a game-high 23 points for Cameron behind five 3-pointers.
Routt ended with 16 points, while Hunter Chambers added 12.