Safford Defeates Crosstown Rival Thatcher

New "Small Ball" writer Lee Patterson, brings you his first piece for SAFFORD DEFEATES CROSSTOWN RIVAL THATCHER FOR 2ND TIME...

Safford, AZ --- The Safford Bulldogs came into Saturday's contest losing two in a row. The Thatcher Eagles came in winning their last two. Advantage Thatcher right? Wrong. Especially in this heated rivalry.

The Eagles came out hot from behind the arc as senior Matt Smith put Thatcher out to a three point lead. The pace would slow however and at the end of the first quarter the Eagles led by two 8-6.

The second quarter was even slower than the first as neither team could get their offense into motion. Thatcher took the halftime lead 19-17.

The second half was a different story as backup guard Gabe Urrea hit two big three's to lift the Dogs into the lead for the first time in the game.

In the fourth Thatcher 6'5 sophomore Chandler John fouled out giving Safford's 6-8 Vince Barney free reign inside and he converted, scoring 11 of his game high 25 in the fourth quarter as the Dogs held on for the 48-44 victory.

The win moves Safford to 16-6 overall and 5-3 in conference. The Eagles drop to 9-9 overall but are still 6-2 in their conference.

Safford has a tough week next week as they host Estrella Foothills on Tuesday, travel to Fountain Hills on Thursday and will host Higley on Saturday. "We will really find out how good we are next week," said Safford head coach Troy Powell.

Thatcher host two road games next week as they travel to Florence on Tuesday and to Superior on Thursday.


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