The Howe Bulldogs got hammered early by Texoma Christian School in the opening round of the “For Love of the Game” tournament in Sadler on Dec. 1

The Eagles jumped out to a 22-7, first-quarter lead and Howe could never catch up.

Big man in the middle, Blaise Bentsen proved to be too much for the smaller Bulldogs to handle and he finished with 13 points in TCS’ 56-41 win.

A pair of baskets by Howe’s sophomore Elijah Campbell, one a 3-pointer, stopped some of the early bleeding. Campbell finished with 14 points for the Bulldogs.

Texoma guard Marlen Williams lit up the scoreboard in the first period, scoring 11 points in the frame. He finished with 13 for the game.

With three days of practice and 6-of-9 players coming over from football, a little rust was to be expected from the Bulldogs.

They righted the ship a bit in the second quarter as a Brandon Wall 3-pointer and Campbell’s second 3 cut the Eagle lead to 13.

Clay Marshall scored with a short jumper on an inbound play beneath the Bulldog basket, but Texoma had a late surge to take a 20-point lead to the halftime break.

Howe outscored the Eagles in each of the final two quarters, but not by enough to wipe out that early spurt.

Campbell was money on a couple of 3-pointers to start the third period, then his drive to the hoop got the lead down to a dozen.

Junior Ty Harvey made two from the free-throw line to make it a 46-21 game at the end of three.

Harvey scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 16 for the game. He also had 14 rebounds for his double-double.

Bentsen was active in the paint in the final quarter and he hit a couple of short shots to stop Howe’s late run.

Howe 43, Era 24.

After whipping Alvord, 71-42 on Dec. 2, the Howe Bulldogs copped the consolation bracket championship with a 43-24 win over Era on Dec. 3

It was all Howe after a tight first quarter, as the Bulldogs outscored the Hornets, 30-15 over the final three periods.

Era jumped out to an early lead on the 3-point shooting of senior guard Tannice Fuller. He made a pair of shots from beyond the arc, then added a free throw to give the Hornets a 7-0 start.

Elijah Campbell was fouled on a 3-point attempt and the sophomore made three from the charity stripe to get the Bulldogs on the board.

A 3-pointer from the top of the arc by Brent Masters and a rebound putback by Campbell cut the Hornet lead to one.

Campbell’s two makes from the free-throw line gave Howe a 10-9 lead and they never gave it back.

A Campbell 3-pointer closed out the first period with Howe up, 13-9.

The Era coach voiced some disapproval with an official’s decision and was assessed a technical, the first of two on the Era bench.

After Campbell made the free-throw, senior Seth Seibold scored back-to-back baskets from the paint.

Junior Ty Hawkins closed out the half with a basket and the Bulldogs went to the break with a 26-13 advantage.

Junior post Ty Harvey took over in the third quarter for Howe, scoring all of the Bulldogs’ 11 points in the period. He had two, 3-pointers in that run and he finished with 13 points. Campbell led all scorers with 20.

With a 14-point lead late in the game, Howe coach Tim Short wanted to run some clock and run his team for conditioning.

All of the Bulldogs’ points in the final three minutes came from the free-throw line and they took home the hardware after the 19-point win.

Howe will be competing in the Madill Winter Classic this weekend.