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The Batesville Bulldogs 6th Grade Boys basketball team was an impressive runner-up this past weekend in the Ohio Players & MWX 10th Annual President’s Cup Open Class AAU Tournament in Cincinnati. The tournament was comprised of teams from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana with the squad earning the 3rd seed from pool play on Saturday heading into championship Sunday.On Saturday the Bulldogs opened up the tournament with a tough loss to the Kentucky Legacy from Wilder, KY by the score of 43-40. The Bulldogs trailed by 1 and were at the free throw line with a chance to take the lead with 2:30 remaining in the contest, but missed the front end of the one and one. A couple of turnovers, missed shots and the Legacy’s free throw shooting skills sealed the loss to begin tournament play. The youngsters shot a solid 68% from the field, but turnovers were their downfall as they committed 24 for the game. Jack Grunkemeyer led the team in scoring with 12 and Sam Johnson contributed 9. The Legacy won the rebound battle by one carom as Grunkemeyer tallied 10 boards. Gus Prickel and Chris Lewis added 3 assists each.In game two of pool play the Bulldogs defeated the Goshen Warriors from Goshen, OH by the score of 35-27. After a see-saw battle early the Bulldogs took the lead 6-5 and never trailed again using a stout zone defense and strong inside offense to stifle the Warriors. The squad was led by Conner Drake with 9 points and Prickel with 8. Grunkemeyer was a beast on the boards with 14, while Johnson contributed 7. Prickel added 4 assists. The Bulldogs did not shoot as well as earlier in the day, 34%, but they minimized the turnovers, shot 8-11 from the free throw line, 73%, won the rebound battle 39-27 and limited the Warriors to a paltry 29% from the field.In the first game on Sunday in bracket play, the Bulldogs faced the Kentucky Legacy again. This was the 3rd meeting between the two teams as they met last season in this same event with the boys from Batesville yet to prevail. The Bulldogs came to play and started fast leading 25-19 at intermission. The game went back and forth to the wire as the Bulldogs, trailing by 1, forced a Legacy turnover with :20 showing on the clock. The Bulldogs brought the ball up the floor against moderate pressure from the Legacy and passed to Brendan Heiser along the side line where he was fouled sending him to the line for a one and one opportunity with :14 left. Heiser calmly sank both free throws to give the Bulldogs the lead. The Legacy called a time out and designed a play to drive baseline right side, but the Bulldogs strong team defense denied the competition a shot at the rim under the goal. Heiser was fouled after the rebound where he stepped to the line and made it a perfect 4-4 in the closing seconds from the charity stripe to send the team to the championship. The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Grunkemeyer with 11, while Prickel and Heiser each tallied 8. Grunkemeyer also added 6 boards and Prickel 3 assists. In critical fashion the Bulldogs were able to minimize the turnovers by only committing 8 for the contest, shooting another impressive 54% from the field, tying the rebound battle at 17 and going an excellent 11-14 from the free throw line, 79%.In the championship contest, the Bulldogs took on the New Birth Warriors from Columbus, OH. It was all Warriors from the outset using stifling defensive pressure, quickness and long range shooting accuracy to lead 33-9 at half time. The Bulldogs settled in and fought to the finish and actually had outscored the impressive squad in the second half until the very end to fall by a final score of 46-18. Chris Lewis led the team in scoring with 8. Grunkemeyer and Drake each had 3 rebounds and Prickel tallied 2 assists.The 6th Grade Bulldogs record moves to (28-13) having played against some of the best talent in the Tri-State area this campaign. The squad will next be in action next Saturday at the Batesville Middle School when they host the 2nd Annual Batesville Invitational. Teams from East Central, Jac-Cen-Del, Lawrenceburg, Rushville, South Dearborn and Switzerland County will be participating. Come on out and support the Class of the 2024’ Bulldogs.Great job Team! Go Bulldogs!!!Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Paul Drake.