Late in the third quarter of Monday night’s game, Douglass’ Anthony Massengale streaked from the left wing to intercept a pass at midcourt.
Massengale, a 6-foot-5 junior, was all alone as he raced toward the basket. As Massengale elevated, so did the Bulldogs’ fans. They applauded his one-handed dunk even before it happened.
Though the two points merely made the Douglass’ deficit 36 points, the crowd had to celebrate what it could.
Massengale’s dunk was one of the few bright spots in Douglass’ 76-31 loss to the Chamois Pirates (15-7) at Smithton Middle School.
The Bulldogs (4-16) played sloppy, unmotivated basketball two days after turning in what their coach called their best game of the year.
“It feels like a big ol’ hammer just hitting me in the head,” Simon Shavers-Hall said of the defeat.
Shavers-Hall was one of four seniors, including Kevin Griffith, Will Todd and manager James Nelson, honored during Senior Night festivities before the game.
It looked as though the Bulldog seniors would take their inspiration into the contest as the game started.
There was the 5-9 Todd, who gave up eight inches to Chamois’ Kurt Kuschel, driving on the star Pirate for a lay-up.
There was Griffith intercepting a pass, his eyes lighting up as he saw the play develop.
But a bad stretch midway through the first quarter wiped out Douglass’ fire while erasing any chances it had of staying in the game.
After Douglass got to within a point at 9-8, Pirates junior Jordan Starke sank an open 3-pointer.
Chamois hounded Todd at mid-court the next two times Douglass brought the ball down the floor and converted the steals into easy baskets.
What was once a close game had turned to a blowout in the blink of an eye.
Allen was despondent after the game and struggled to analyze his team’s loss.
“It’s one of those games that … you gotta move on,” he said. “We’re not going to look at the films or anything.”
Things could have been worse. Douglass rebounded a considerable number of missed shots and layups.
But instead of slowing things down and trying to work the ball down low to Massengale, the Douglass guards forced things.
It might have helped had the team’s regular point guard played . But freshman Landon Boone was held out with a combination of the flu and breathing problems.
A throng of purple jerseys seemed to take the ball from the Bulldogs during every one of their offensive possessions as a result.
Many of Chamois’ points came on easy lay-ups when some Douglass players didn’t bother to run down the court.
“It was just a horrible, horrible effort tonight,” Douglass coach Lynn Allen said.
Starke led all players with 30 points. He scored half his total in the third quarter and made four 3-pointers.
“He threw it up and made every shot,” Shavers-Hall said.