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In the blink of an eye Monday night, a close game turned into a rout at Bulldog Gymnasium.
With the score tied at 4-4 between Empire and Walters with 5:17 remaining in the first quarter, the Blue Devils turned on the offense as WHS finished the quarter leading 21-7, paving the way for a 78-36 victory on senior night at Bulldog Gymnasium.
Even though the Bulldogs managed to outscore Walters 24-20 in the second half, the real damage was done in the first half of the game.
After both teams exchanged the lead early on, the Blue Devils used their speed and smothering defense to convert turnovers into points, and make life difficult for head coach Ryan Green and his squad.
By the time the Bulldogs had reached double digits, the Blue Devils were in cruise control leading 47-10 with 2:40 remaining before halftime.
WHS was also helped by the fact it went 8-of-14 from behind the three point line, a far cry from the 0-for-4 performance Empire turned in.
After the break, the Bulldogs responded with plenty of energy as they outscored WHS 14-4 in the third quarter, but still trailed 62-26 going into the fourth.
Empire did get the better of percentages at the free throw line as the Bulldogs shot 50 percent on the evening, with Walters totaling a 5-for-13 performance.
Senior Cordell Setters made the most of his final appearance on the floor of Bulldog Gymnasium as he finished with 12 points in the contest.
Evan Whitt led the scoring for the Bulldogs (4-18) with 13 points on the night.
Freddy Larsen and Dustin Curtis both scored four points in the contest, with Cooper Hill adding three points to go with a team-high seven rebounds.
Walters (16-6) was paced by JC Herring with 19 points, followed by Boyce Willis and Trevor Hurtman each with 12 points.
Friday night Feb. 15 will see the Bulldogs begin their playoff journey as they travel to Wilson to take on the Eagles. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. from Wilson High School.