By: Ryan Cuddy
The reigning MIAA men’s basketball champions are back in action on the new year as the Adrian Bulldogs played back to back nights this past Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs traveled on the road Friday night to battle with in conference opponent, the Trine Thunder. First game nerves appeared a little bit for the Bulldogs, as the hosts controlled early in the first half. The Thunder had the upper hand on Adrian up 15-6, approaching the midway point in the first half. However, at the tail end of the first half, Adrian cut it close and the game remained a battle pretty much the rest of the way out. The first half finished with both teams trading blows. Nolan Ansara hit a late three to pull the bulldogs within 1, but Aiden Warzecha for Trine knocked down a pair of free throws to take a 3 point lead into the half, 34-31. Adrian continued to battle in the second half, and even took a 3 point lead, but they were never able to pull away from Trine. Trine started to pull away shortly after Adrian was able to tie the game 49-49 with 7:22 remaining in the second half. The Thunder went on a 12-4 spurt that put the Bulldogs down 61-53 with under 3 minutes to play in the period. Trine then played solid to lock it down from there and not let Adrian get back in the game, as the lead for the Thunder never slipped below 6 points. Trine came out on top in the end 66-59. Adrian had solid contributions across the board, as Kendal Bellamy led the way with 18 points, but was joined by Robert Warrick, Nolan Ansara, and Gabe McDevitt for getting in double digits for Adrian. Bellamy also contributed on the glass with 9 rebounds, nearly recording a double double in the season opener. The Bulldogs played sloppy with 23 turnovers, compared to Trine’s minuscule 8. Another stat line that the Thunder advantage was how frequent both teams made trips to the free throw line. Adrian got outshot at the line by Trine 25-7, as Trine made 18 attempts and Adrian made just 4. There were turnovers and not many free throws, but Adrian only fell to Trine by a mere 6 points, something head coach Kyle Lindsay has got to be happy to see from his team. The new season is underway for the defending MIAA champs, and a look at another solid season is on the cards for this Adrian Bulldogs team.