The Ballinger Bearcats knocked off the Brady Bulldogs, 59-48, here last Tuesday night in the final non-district basketball game before district play begins here Friday. The Cats had bitten the Dogs in their first meeting in early December by a 75-44 score. “I felt like the Brady basketball players in all three levels, varsity, JV and freshman, played hard. These groups of young men are closing the gap on their opponents,” Brady coach Shawn Dalbert said Wednesday morning. Cole Whisenhunt and Clifton Tally led the scoring for the Doggies with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Although he did not score, Blake Andrews paced the team in rebounds with nine. Tally had seven and C.J. Villegas five. Brady took a 15-12 lead after the first period, but the Bearcats held a narrow 24-23 margin at intermission. The Cats were ahead by four points entering the fourth quarter. “They still held that four-point lead with two minutes left in the game. At that point, we were forced to foul to get the ball. Then the Carter kid from Ballinger hit a three-pointer that put them up by seven,” Dalbert said. He said his charges didn’t shoot well from the field, converting only 14 of 44 attempts for a 31 percentile. “After trailing by only one at halftime, we came out and missed our first seven shots of the third quarter. And all of them were uncontested attempts,” the Brady coach said. The Bulldogs are 7-10 on the season and will host Liberty Hill, a 14-2 team, in the district opener here Friday (tonight). “We are still hurting a bit,” Dalbert said. “Hunter Wilkinson has been out with a high ankle sprain suffered during the Brownwood Classic during the Christmas break,” the coach said. Score by quarters: Ballinger 12 12 18 17’59 Brady 15 8 15 10’48 Brady scorers: C.J. Villegas 6, Cole Whisenhunt 14, Luke Price 2, Clifton Tally 11, Johnny Menefield 9, Tim Walker 4, Adrian Ni’o 2.