The Thayer Bobcats took the court Dec. 19 against a seasoned squad of Gainesville Bulldogs and suffered their first lost of the young season, a 56-53 home setback to the Bulldogs.
The Bobcats could just not find their range to start the night, going scoreless for about four minutes.
This allowed the Bulldogs to pull out to a six-point lead before Thayer ever got on the board.
The action was hard-hitting and physical, with players being knocked to the hardwood on both ends of the court.
Gainesville hustled back on defense, not allowing the Bobcats to turn the clash into the wide-open pace they prefer.
With some good defense and inside play from Eric Veatch, the Bobcats slowly climbed back into it, but were not able to take the lead. Veatch paced the Bobcats with 15 points for the game.
Matt Kojdecki's (nine points) 3-point attempts just couldn't find their way in the hoop, and even the off-the-rim balls were just not bouncing the Bobcats' way on this evening.
The Bulldogs cut off passing lanes for steals which turned into some easy points for them, giving Gainesville an 8-6 lead after one.
The Bobcats did manage to right the ship and pull ahead 23-20 at half.
Thayer has been a strong third quarter team this year, but managed only 13 points to find itself trailing 37-36 heading into the final frame.
Gainesville's big man worked extra hard in the fourth, pulling down rebounds, making a couple of slashes to the board and a snagging a breakaway steal.
Thayer's Michael Lowther (six points) came in for defense and stayed with him, but with 4:07 in the game the Bulldogs were up 47-40.
The Bobcats pulled to within three, 51-54, with 42.7 seconds on the clock, but that was as close as they could manage, and the Bulldogs took a three-point win back home to Gainesville.
Blake Horton and Jacob Sims posted nine points each for Thayer, while Lance Schneider added five.