Things are going your way when you start a basketball game at the free-throw line.
A technical foul on the Paul Dunbar bench because of a pre-game dunk kick-started an 8-0 run to open the game, and visiting Bryan Station edged the Bulldogs 51-45.
Larry Morton led the Defenders (12-9) with 12 points, and Loran Smith added eight points and led Bryan Station with eight rebounds. Marcus Williams came off the bench to add eight more points.
Dunbar (8-14) got 12 points and 18 rebounds from 6-foot-3 senior Lamont Johnson. Sean Lamanna and Zach Herrin scored nine apiece.
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Despite Bryan Station's quick start, the game wound up tighter than the Defenders' 61-47 victory over the Bulldogs in the Fayette County Invitational Tournament.
"Dunbar played extremely well," said Mike Allen, Bryan Station's coach. "They play a 3-2 zone. They do it very well, executing, but how we attacked it, we executed for the most part.
"All we wanted to do was get good looks at the basket because if you take bad shots, that's the equivalent of a turnover, they get out and run, get some easy transition baskets. Our kids played and carried out assignments tonight, so I'm proud of them."
Morton made both free throws to start the game. Station kept the ball, and Otis Webb sank a three-pointer.
After the first of 23 Dunbar turnovers, Webb nailed another three for the 8-0 lead.
Dunbar not only weathered that storm, the Bulldogs battled back to twice take the lead. Dunbar's defense held Bryan Station to 29.6 percent shooting (16-for-54).
"We knew going in that we had to find a way to frustrate them offensively, to get them to take a lot of threes, that kind of thing," Dunbar Coach Justin Yeary said.
Down the stretch, though, Bryan Station did just enough to win.
Deon Renfro, who contributed six points and three rebounds to the winning cause, said facing a zone was "sort of (frustrating) because we're more of a running team."
"But it really wasn't because Coach had us work on it for essentially all week to prepare for that. All we had to do was execute, which we did at the end of the game."
Dunbar's first lead came on Johnson's put-back with 2:45 left in the half, which gave Dunbar a 21-20 edge.
Morton, who played for Dunbar two seasons ago, made a three-point play to give Bryan Station a 23-21 lead at intermission.
Dunbar held Bryan Station scoreless for the first 4:15 of the second half, and without a field goal for the first 6:23.
However, the Bulldogs didn't exactly light up the scoreboard, getting only one field goal in the first 4:30. William Gary's fast-break score with 3:01 left in the third quarter gave Dunbar a 27-25 lead.
That would be the Bulldogs' last lead, though.
Bryan Station scored the next eight points, getting three-pointers by Williams and Matthew Hunter, sandwiched around a tip-in by Smith.
Dunbar was still within a basket with three minutes left in the game, trailing 41-39.
Allen ordered his Defenders to "bring 'em out" of the tight zone by extending the court. That triggered a 7-0 run for a 48-39 lead with less than two minutes left.
"I thought our kids did a fantastic job tonight," Yeary said. "They hit some timely threes. We turned it over too much, and it led to some baskets there in the fourth quarter that killed us. But, outside of that, I thought our kids played fantastic."
BRYAN STATION (12-9) — Morton 12, Roberts 0, Renfro 6, Webb 6, L. Smith 8, Waide 6, Williams 8, Hunter 3, Henry 2. Totals 16-54 13-18 51.
PAUL DUNBAR (8-14) — L. Johnson 12, Lamanna 9, Gary 7, Herrin 9, Coyle 6, Adu-Peasah 2. Totals 21-44 3-5 45.
Bryan Station 16 7 10 18—51
Paul Dunbar 13 8 8 16—45