By Matthew Harrell
The Bulldogs traveled to Alachua last weekend to test themselves against bigger schools, but struggled shooting the ball and started 0-3 before beating Union County.
The Bulldogs opened the tournament against Columbia on Wednesday.
Bell held a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Columbia outscored the Bulldogs 17-8 in the second quarter and 28-13 in the third quarter to take a 19-point lead into the final period.
Bell fought back in the fourth quarter and, in less than four minutes, cut Columbia’s lead to just four points. Bell took its first lead of the second half, 60-59, with less than 30 seconds left.
Columbia answered with a lay up and a foul to take a 62-60 lead with 12 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Reese Rankin got open and made a running jumper that would have tied the game, but it was waved off because of timeout. Bell turned the ball over on the following inbound and Columbia held on to defeat Bell 62-60.
Tony Yoder had 21 points, Terek Liles had 11 and Ian Townsend had 10.
The Bulldogs took on the tournament’s host, Santa Fe, on Thursday.
Again, Bell jumped out to a first quarter lead, this time leading 13-6 after one period, but, again, struggled to score in the second quarter as the Raiders outscored Bell 21-6 in the second quarter.
After trailing 27-19 to open the second half, the Bulldogs cut the lead to 34-33 heading into the fourth quarter. However Santa Fe held Bell to just two points as the Raiders pulled away for a 50-35 win.
No Bulldogs reached double-digit points in the game.
Bell tried to bounce back on Friday against a Williston team they had already beaten.
Despite both teams struggling to make shots, the Red Devils held a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The score in the second quarter was a better reflection of the teams’ shooting as Bell outscored Williston 7-2 to take a 22-18 lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs held a 35-33 lead heading into the final period. Bell failed to hold on to the lead in the fourth quarter, being outscored 19-11 on their way to a 52-46 loss and an 0-3 record for the weekend.
Bell’s last chance to get a win in the challenge came on Saturday when they faced Union County.
The Bulldogs took an 18-11 in the first quarter and added on to it in the second quarter to hold a 30-19 lead at the half.
The Bulldogs outscored Union County 26-13 in the third quarter to take a 56-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
Bell went on to win 66-43 to get their only win on the weekend.
Tyler Trantham and Terek Liles each scored 14 points, Tony Yoder missed the game after getting hurt in the Williston game on Friday.
The Bulldogs are now 9-3 on the season. They get back to district play this week, hosting Cedar Key on Thursday and traveling to Chiefland on Friday.