DALTON — A big fourth quarter, and a game-high 19 points from Jaime Gonzalez lifted the Bridgeport boys basketball team to a 46-41 win over Leyton on Tuesday night in Dalton.
Gonzalez, a junior, scored 18 of his 19 points in the second half as the Bulldogs handed Leyton its first loss of the season. The Warriors entered the contest rated No. 6 in Class D-2 by the Omaha World-Herald.
Bridgeport coach Nick Broz said Gonzalez gave the Bulldogs just the spark they needed after a tough-shooting first half.
“We were getting good looks in the first half, but the ball just wasn’t going in the hoop for us,” Broz said. “Jaime finally broke the lid off the basket for us in the second half. He really got us going and that was contagious for some of our other guys, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Trailing through three quarters of play, Bridgeport outscored Leyton 20-12 in the final eight minutes to capture the victory.
Joining Gonzalez in the double-figure scoring column was a pair of Bridgeport freshmen. Both Quentin Baxter and Wyatt Pankowski netted 10 points each. Baxter knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the game, including one in the pivotal fourth quarter.
The win improved Bridgeport to 8-2 on the season.
Leyton, which dropped to 8-1, was led in scoring by Dylan Brenner with 17 points. Brennen Cruise added 10 points for the Warriors.
Leyton was 5 of 7 at the free-throw line, while Bridgeport finished 4 of 12.
The meeting was the second of the season between the teams. Leyton downed Bridgeport 52-39 in the season opener at the Bayard Invitational back on Nov. 30.
In Tuesday’s girls’ game, Bridgeport snapped a three-game slide with a 44-31 win over Leyton.
The Bulldogs, who evened their record at 5-5, received a game-high 11 points from senior Sydney Faessler. Faessler drained a trio of 3-pointers.
Tara Harding added eight points for Bridgeport, while Megan Dudden finished with seven points.
Leyton set the tone early in the contest by moving out to an 11-3 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter. Bridgeport outscored the Warriors 13-6 in the second quarter to close within 17-16 at intermission.
The second half belonged to the Bulldogs. Olga Aguilar poured in six points in a third quarter that saw Bridgeport outscore Leyton 16-6 to grab a 32-23 advantage entering the final period.
In the final eight minutes of play, the Bulldogs managed to push their lead into double figures en route to pulling away.
Bridgeport coach Bryan Schluterbusch said his squad performed much better offensively and defensively following the first quarter.
“We came out a little sluggish in the first half. Our shots weren’t falling early, so we couldn’t get into our pressure like we wanted,” Schluterbusch said. “We finally got some shots to fall in the second half and we were able to get a few turnovers off our press.”
Leyton, which dropped to 5-4, was led in scoring by Rachael Ernest with 10 points. Tessa Lukesh added six.
Bridgeport shot 7 of 12 at the free-throw line, while Leyton finished 3 of 14.
Both schools will return to action on Friday against conference opponents.
Bridgeport will host Kimball in a Western Trails Conference showdown, while Leyton will welcome Potter-Dix in Minuteman Activities Conference action.
Bridgeport (5-5).............................3 13 16 12 — 44
Leyton (5-4)............................11 6 6 8 — 31
Tara Harding 8, Jessica Kildow 4, Jada Huck 2, Dina Cantu 6, Sydney Faessler 11, Olga Aguilar 6, Megan Dudden 7.
Kelsey Waite 4, Rachael Ernest 10, Kaitlyn Berner 3, Carly Rushman 2, Tessa Lukesh 6, Katy Ernest 5.
Bridgeport (8-2).............................5 9 12 20 — 46
Leyton (8-1)...............................9 7 13 12 — 41
Cody Franklin 4, Jason Amateis 3, Quentin Baxter 10, Jaime Gonzalez 19, Wyatt Pankowski 10.
Alex W. Frerichs 8, Sam Schumacher 6, Dylan Brenner 17, Brennen Cruise 10.