PRAGUE – Brett Roach led the Bulldogs of Meeker to a 48-41 win over Chandler in their opening round of the 66 Conference Tournament at Prague Monday.
The Bulldogs turned things around in the second half after focusing more on getting into the paint than shooting from outside.
“We tried to get to the rim because 3-pointers weren't working out for us,” Meeker coach Evan Smith said.
Chandler took a lead late into the first with a 5-0 run to take an 11-8 advantage into the second.
Brett Roach made the first bucket of the second for Meeker but Brooks McVey countered with a trey to give Chandler their biggest lead of the half at 14-10 with 6:10 before the break.
Roach put in two buckets to tie at 14 and the teams traded leads until Hutch Underwood made the deciding shot of the half for Chandler with short time left to take a 23-21 lead into the lockers.
Roach kicked off a 6-0 run by Meeker to start the second half and Justis Nelson capitalized with two buckets in the paint to move ahead 27-23 with 6:01 left in the third.
It was a nice night for Nelson, who has helped lift the Bulldogs up several times this season.
“He's been big for us this year,” Smith said.
The Bulldogs closed out the third with six more unanswered points on a bucket by Roach and two from Josh Whitfield and held on in the fourth to take the win.
Roach completed the game with 18 points to lead all scorers. Dylan Thomas had 10 and Nelson and Whitfield had eight apiece.
Chandler's scoring was pretty even all around. McVey and Chabon Anderson each had 10 points, Underwood and Tanner German had eight each and Trey Lewis had five.
Meeker will play Stroud Friday at 5:20 in the tournament semi-finals while Chandler will face Okemah in consolation Thursday at 5:20. Okemah beat Stroud, 63-57.