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Belgreen heads to state finals

The Belgreen Bulldogs dominated the Notasulga Blue Devils from the opening tipoff in the Class 1A semifinals, winning 66-44.

Belgreen will play in the Class 1A state championship Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham.

Belgreen dished out 17 assists in a total team effort. The Bulldogs dominated the defensive boards 29-20 and points in the paint 38-22.

Senior Scout Bragwell continued his hot post-season three-pointers, scoring 12 points in the first half. Bragwell was five-for-seven from the three-point line.  He hit his fifth three just three minutes into the third quarter, crushing any comeback attempt by the Blue Devils.

Fellow senior Isac Willingham and junior Collin Bonner led Belgreen on the defense. Willingham pulled down seven rebounds, while Bonner grabbed six boards. Willingham also dished out six assists to his teammates.

Will Bonner was nine-for-12 shooting, scoring 19 points. He also had six rebounds and five assists.

Bonner spent the entire second quarter on the bench after picking up two quick fouls to close out the first quarter.

Belgreen opened up the game on a 5-0 lead on a layup by Willingham and a three pointer by Austin James. After a bucket by Notasulga, a layup by Will Bonner and two straight three pointers by Bragwell gave the Bulldogs a 13-2 lead four minutes into the game.

Notasulga cut Belgreen’s lead to 17-11 at the end of the first quarter.

The loss of Bonner in the second quarter didn’t deter the determined Bulldogs. Belgreen opened up the quarter with a two from Bragwell, a three by Adrian Reeves and two free throws by Willingham to give the Bulldogs a 24-13 lead.

Belgreen was shooting a whopping 82 percent from the field 10 minutes into the game. On the defensive end, Collin Bonner was getting the job done with three blocked shots.

Collin Bonner picked up the load offensively, as well. Bonner scored seven points late in the second quarter to help push Belgreen’s lead to 34-21 with 1:36 to go in the first half.

As time was expiring in the first half, Collin Bonner was looking to drive the lane for a last shot. Notasulga had the land defended well, but Bonner flipped the ball back behind him to Bragwell, who drained a 24-foot three-pointer as time expired to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game, 37-22.

Belgreen was firmly in control from the opening tip but ran away with the game in the third quarter.

Belgreen went on a 10-2 run to open the second half – two straight three-pointers by Bragwell and two straight layups by Will Bonner – giving the Bulldogs a 47-24 lead with 3:26 to go in the third quarter.

Belgreen closed out the third quarter just like the second quarter – with a tip-in buzzer beater, this one by Will Donahoe off a missed three by Will Bonner to give Belgreen a 57-26 lead.

Will Bonner led Belgreen with 19 points, followed by Bragwell with 18. Collin Bonner had 11 points. Willingham added six points, Will Donahoe four points, James three points, Adrian Reeves three points and Jordan Wright two points.

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