(December 20, 2013) The RFH Bulldogs won their season opener versus the Shore Regional Blue Devils tonight, 64 to 58. The Bulldogs were led by Sophomore Brendan Barry with 20 points and Junior Thomas Famulary with 18 points. Senior Captain Jack Herrmann chipped in a solid 13 points in RFH’s winning effort.
The first quarter began slowly, with both teams struggling to score. Eventually, on the strength of dueling passionate crowds, the score grew to 10-8 Shore in the lead with 2:24 left in the period. Barry, taking advantage of his first career start, hit three 3-pointers in the period for the Bulldogs, and the quarter ultimately ended with RFH up, 15-13.
The Blue Devils began the second quarter with a hot hand, and regained their lead back late in the period. When a timeout was called with two minutes left until halftime, Shore was in the lead, 30-24. The timeout ignited the Bulldogs, however, and after back-to-back threes from Junior Morgan Maguire and Famulary, who finished the night six of seven from the field, RFH and the Blue Devils were all tied up at 30. After a layup by Shore at the halftime buzzer, the score was 32-30.
The second half started off with a bang, when Barry knocked down a three to begin the third quarter. Barry’s shot set the tone for the period, one in which the Bulldogs dominated. Herrmann took the game into his hands in the third quarter, scoring seven of his 13 points in the period. Herrmann’s dominance led RFH to a 45-38 lead with 4:17 left in the quarter. The Bulldogs would cling to their lead through the rest of the quarter and led 47-46 entering the fourth.
The fourth quarter was perhaps the most exciting of the game. The Blue Devils jumped out to a 53-49 lead with 5:11 left, which prompted RFH to call a timeout. The break proved useful for the Bulldogs, who came out of the timeout inspired. RFH immediately went on an 8-0 run, led by Junior Alex Geiger and Barry, who capped off the run with a three-pointer from the top of the arc as he was fouled. Barry, who showed that he wasn’t afraid of taking and making big shots in big spots, missed the following free throw, but the Bulldogs and the home crowd were visibly more confident in their chances of winning the game. The 8-0 run put RFH up 57-53, and the Bulldogs found themselves up 61-55 with 2:18 left in the game.
The following ninety seconds involved huge stops for both RFH and Shore, and with 34 seconds left in the intense season opener, the Blue-Devils called a timeout with the score 61-58 in the Bulldogs’ favor. The deciding possession of the contest came after the timeout, when Shore attempted to tie the game. After great perimeter defense by RFH on a three-point attempt by a Blue Devil, Maguire corralled the biggest rebound of the game for the Bulldogs, and was fouled with seventeen seconds left on the clock. The foul sent Maguire to the line for the biggest free throws of the night. Maguire, who finished with five points and five rebounds, calmly sank both free throws he attempted, and the game was all but over. After a Shore turnover and a Famulary free throw, RFH emerged victorious in a huge win.
The Bulldogs’ 64-58 win came against a team that was ranked in the top 5 in its conference by multiple newspapers.