Craig Harris/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs Junior High guard Chris Hackney passes to teammate Colton Copas as Merrol Hyde Magnet’s Tobias Mandeville contests the pass. Hackney scored a game-high 15 points in the Bulldogs’ 32-21 loss.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs Junior High guard Chris Hackney passes to teammate Colton Copas as Merrol Hyde Magnet’s Tobias Mandeville contests the pass. Hackney scored a game-high 15 points in the Bulldogs’ 32-21 loss.

RED BOILING SPRINGS -- The Red Boiling Springs Junior High boys basketball team couldn't solve the zone defenses of Merrol Hyde Magnet in a 32-21 loss on Nov. 20.

The Bulldogs were stymied by the Hawks' 1-3-1, zone defense in the first half, producing just two baskets before halftime.

"We wanted to attack the corner and maybe have a guy diving (to the basket)," RBS head coach Andrew Mullinix said. "We just couldn't get it there and turned it over."

Chris Hackney made two 3-pointers in the first half, the second of which fell with two seconds remaining in the half to create a 13-7 margin.

The lead swelled back to nine points when Ben Wheeler made a 3-pointer midway through the third period.

However, Hackney's third 3-pointer was followed by a Colton Copas steal and layin, pulling the Bulldogs back to within three points (19-16) late in the third quarter.

The Hawks made four free throws over the next two minutes to extend the lead back to seven points, but Hackney's final 3-pointer pulled his squad to within 23-19.

However, Isaac Stephens responded by sinking a 3-pointer 15 seconds later, and Merrol Hyde Magnet pulled away from there.

"We shouldn't have been in the game honestly," Mullinix said. "They let us creep back in it multiple times.

"We turned it over. We have to get better at boxing out and rebounding. We're a soft team. We don't like contact ... but we're getting better."

Hackney scored a game-high 15 points.

Wheeler finished with a team-high 10 points.

Red Boiling Springs was coming off of a 39-18 win over visiting Burks Middle one night earlier.

"Us winning and not being used to winning, we really don't know how to handle it," Mullinix said. "But they've improved a ton. They're all seventh-graders. We put in a lot of work this offseason. We are way better.

"We have to expect to win though."