DENTON — In their opening game of the NCTC tournament, the Howe Bulldogs went head-to-head with the Lindsay Knights on Thursday, Dec.28, though the Bulldogs would ultimately drop the contest, 48-55.

The Bulldogs started out the first quarter sluggish. Luckily Lindsay followed suit, ending the quarter with an 8-9 score.

Howe heaedt up in the second quarter, as James Cowin scored seven points and hit a deep 3-pointer for the Bulldogs. This would help propel Howe to a 23-17 score as the half time buzzer sounded.

Unfortunately, the Lindsay offense took over in the third quarter, scoring 21 total points and limiting the Bulldog offense to a 12-point quarter. Missed free throws would be hurtful to Howe, as they missed 8 out of 10 free shots. These 8 extra points would have kept the Bulldogs in the lead going into the final quarter — instead Howe fell behind, 38-35.

Lindsay wouldn’t give up the lead for the rest of the game, widening the gap throughout the quarter and giving Howe their first loss of the tournament.

Cowin endrf the game with 11 total points. Ty Harvey and Winston Mosse both finished the game with 8 points.

The Bulldogs luck would change in their second game of the NCTC tournament against Callisberg on Friday, Dec 29. Howe was dominant throughout the game to finish with a 62-55 victory.

The game kicked off neck-and-neck with the first quarter ending in a 16-15 Bulldog advantage, with both teams scoring almost on command.

Things would settle down in the second quarter. After an abysmal 6-point quarter by Callisburg, the Bulldogs would swoop in and take a definitive, 21-34, lead at the end of the half.

From there, it was all Howe as they smoothly slid into their first win of the tourney.

Free throws were the Bulldogs’ best friend this time around, as Howe ended the game with 22 made free throws out of 31 attempts.

The score wasn’t even close in the Bulldogs’ third matchup of the NCTC tournament on Friday, Dec. 29. Howe would put a thrashing on the Collinsville Pirate to end with a final score of 58-39.

It was all Bulldogs early in this one as their defense shut down Collinsville to limit their possessions, only allowing six Pirates points on the board in the quarter. Howe would light up the basket in the quarter, giving the boys a 16-6 lead to start off.

From there, Howe simply dominated the rest of the game, never losing the lead they established in the first quarter.

Ty Harvey would finish the game with 19 total points as well as hitting two three pointers for the Bulldogs.

Despite hard-nosed and aggressive play by the Bulldogs, they would drop their fourth and final game of the NCTC tournament on Saturday, Dec. 30, losing the contest 56-47 to Gainesville.

After an offensive surge in the first quarter, it seemed like it was shaping up to be another Howe victory as they quickly took an 18-13 lead. Unfortunately, a wavering offensive performance in the second and third quarters of play hurt the Bulldogs as they were outscored, 35-20, in that span. This allowed Gainsville to take the lead, 48-38.

Gainesville would only need to stack on from there in the final quarter until the final buzzer sounded.

Ty Harvey finished the game with 17 total points.