The Bennington Bulldogs move onto round two of sub-state after a great second half against Ell-Saline. They beat the Cardinals 52-41 to get things rolling in the tournament.
"First one is always the toughest," head coach Tim Dolloff said. "Regardless of whether your a first seed or an eighth seed, everybody comes out nervous"
It appeared to be the Cardinals night in the first. Ell-Saline outscored Bennington 18-9 in the first eight minutes of the game. Both Brandon Clark and Justin Schmutz had 6 points in the opening quarter.
"We hit some shots right out of the gate and then went cold," Dolloff said. "I think they shot something like 87 percent the first quarter, just hit everything they threw up."
Bennington was also without one of it's leading scorers.
"Glanton sat the bench a good portion of the first half for us, Dolloff said. "He makes a big difference for us inside, for sure."
Bennington was able to get the game within six at halftime, thanks, in part to eight second-quarter points from Glanton,most of which were free throws.
The Bulldogs came out of the locker room on a mission and their shots began to fall. Kyle Kieborz scored eight points in the third alone.
"We had some guys really, kind of set their jaw and decide to come out to play," Dolloff said.
Ell-Saline only had four points the entire fourth quarter. From there, Bennington was able to cruise to the finish getting a chance to play Washington County on Friday.
Glanton lead all scorers with 18 and Kieborz was right behind him at 17. Two players were in double digits for Ell-Saline, Clark had 14 and Schmutz had 11.