Bowie’s district home opener had the feeling of a horror movie you could not take your eyes off of Tuesday night as the Jackrabbits played Holliday.
No matter how ugly it got, fans kept waiting for it to get better and it never did as the Eagles dominated 55-30.
Missing all-state player Daniel Mosley inside for the second game, Bowie welcomed back lead ball handler and best perimeter scorer Justin Franklin after he returned two weeks with an ankle.
Even without those two, the Jackrabbits had outplayed a try hard City View team that only came on strong in the final two minutes to make the final score as close as it was 64-56.
Surely Bowie, who played one of the toughest pre-district schedules against several state ranked teams in higher classifications, some without Mosley, would be able to overcome an inexperienced Holliday team even without its best player.
The answer was evident from the opening tip. The Eagles attacked the basket hard early and were rewarded as they were in the bonus by the end of the quarter. Despite the Jackrabbits length inside, Holliday’s strength and physical play dominated them inside.
From scoring inside to attacking Bowie’s major weakness, preventing offensive rebounds, the Eagles were the ones who were dominating in the paint and not the other way around.
This forced Bowie to switch to a zone defense to put a stop to the scores in the post, but Holliday had enough shooting to hurt the Jackrabbits enough, though it did slow down the scoring pace they started with.
It was the offensive end where Bowie struggled. The constant passing to players coming off screens just never seemed to open any good looks and the Jackrabbits eventually started forcing floaters in the lane and contested three-point shots that had a prayer to go in.
Bowie trailed 15-7 after the first quarter, with the hope they could figure out something that could work against the physical Eagles.
While the Jackrabbits had calmed Holliday’s offense, Bowie’s offense continued to struggle. It did not help that senior leader Taylor Pigg got into foul trouble and was forced to sit for most of the quarter. Besides some nice mid-range shots from Braden Armstrong coming off of screens, every point was like pulling teeth for the Jackrabbits.
Holliday led 25-13 at halftime.
Bowie has been a good third quarter team for most of the season as Coach Jonathon Horton has faith in his team enough to make drastic adjustments on both offense and defense to find what will work.
While no big change came, the third quarter was the most competitive quarter of the game. Boo Oakley came off the bench and despite his slight frame did his best to hold his own against the thicker post players of the Eagles. Unfortunately, he picked up a lot of fouls playing this way and ultimately fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Despite playing more competitively, this meant that Holliday still held a double digit lead 37-22 heading into the fourth quarter and the Jackrabbits needed to dig deep and find something that worked if they wanted to have a chance to comeback.
Fans holding out hope for that, especially following a game where the Lady Rabbits did come back to win, were left disappointed. The Eagles finished the game with their best effort of the game while Bowie helplessly tried to make anything happen. The final buzzer could not come fast enough as it seemed half the crowd had already left. Holliday won 55-30.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.