CATOOSA - After a rough outing at Vinita on Tuesday, the Jay Bulldogs got back on the winning track, holding off a late Catoosa charge to pick up a 52-45 win.
Both teams stumbled out of the gate, combining for nine turnovers in the first five minutes of the game as the Bulldogs (2-1) took an early 3-2 lead.
Jay would lead 10-8 after one quarter, getting five points from Taylor Foster.
Catoosa tied the game at 13 midway through the second period before Jay went on a 12-2 run to take a 25-15 lead with 1:30 left before halftime. Jared Sloan scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the quarter, but Catoosa would shrink the deficit to seven by halftime behind Montana Poorboy, who scored eight points in the quarter and 12 in the first half for the Indians.
Sloan would score six more points in the third quarter and lead a dominant Bulldog effort on the boards as Jay stretched its lead to as much as 15. Sloan had nine rebounds on the night as Jay outrebounded Catoosa 33-18.
But a lack of free throw shooting would allow Catoosa to make a charge in the final period. Jay would miss five from the charity stripe to begin the quarter, including the front ends of three one-and-ones.
Catoosa's guards also finally got hot, as Chase Fields and Alex Whistance each hit three-pointers and Jake Magness scored on a pair of three-point plays. The Indians would close to within four at 47-43 with 1:03 left to play, but Poorboy missed a free throw that would've made it a one possession game and the Bulldogs made three of their final four free throws to seal the win.
In addition to Sloan's 20 points and nine rebounds, Foster finished with 11 points and five boards. Stephen Tanner and Kyle Kirby finished with six points each while Shai Jones, playing in his first game of the season, added five.
Poorboy led the Indians (0-1) with 17 points and seven rebounds. Magness finished with 14 while Fields and Whistance each had eight.
The Bulldogs will open the Adair Tournament on Monday with a 6 p.m. tip off against Salina.