The top seeded Bulldogs appeared in their first game of the NEA tournament on December 20th on the Campus of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. The Bulldogs faced 9th seeded BIC Mustangs. It wouldn’t take long for the Bulldogs to find their rhythm, draining 11 3-pointers, as they would defeat the Mustangs 61-42, Ben Keton led the pack with 23 points, followed by Kemani Roberson with 15 points, and Bomani Roberson adding 14 points.
The Bulldogs would return after Christmas on December 27th to face an undefeated Marked Tree team who was also ranked #1 in the State in Class 2A boys Basketball. The Bulldogs ranked # 3 in 3A basketball knew this would be a battle of runs. The Bulldogs came out nailing 6 3-pointers in the first quarter and the Bulldogs were up 24-14 after one quarter of action.
Then, Marked Tree would make its run and take a 34-33 lead into the half. Marked Tree carried that lead into the forth 53-50 but Tuckerman was patient and Ben Keton would come in clutch for the Bulldogs in the final seconds with a couple of baskets and some free throws. The Bulldogs would get the 77-73 win led by Ben Keton with 23 points, while Kemani Roberson added 16 points, and Bomani Roberson chipped in 16 points.
The Division II Boys Championship game took place on Friday, December 28th at the First National Bank Arena on the Arkansas State University Campus. The top seeded Tuckerman Bulldogs faced the #3 seeded Manila Lions. Manila coming off a big win over Truman in the semi-finals. Truman handed the Bulldogs their first lost of the season back in November. This matchup was sure to be a State Tournament type game.
The Bulldogs shot an impressive 54% from the field in the first half of play and took a 34-33 lead into the half. Coach Bateman would adjust his teams defense at the half and the Bulldogs would come out and gain a 42-44 lead after 3 quarters. The Bulldogs lead would be cut to 4 with .51 seconds left in the game. Bomani Roberson would drain 8/10 free throws in the final 1:21 of the game to lift the Bulldogs in the 62-55 victory over the Manila Lions. This would be the first time the Bulldogs have won the title since 1970. Bomani led the Bulldogs with 24, while Ben Keton scored 20 points, and Kemani Roberson added 12 points. This triple threat outscored and outrebounded the Lions with combined 56 points and 26 rebounds. The Bulldogs improve to 19-1 on the season and 5-0 in conference play.
The Lady Bulldogs continued play in the consolation bracket after the loss to Truman on December 15. The Lady Bulldogs played against Newport on Friday, December 21st at Brookland. The Lady Bulldogs defeated the Newport Lady Hounds 48-17. Natalie Shelton scored 30 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs.
The Lady Bulldogs would then move on to play ICC in the final game of the NEA Division II Consolation Bracket. The Lady Bulldogs would pick up the 40-27 victory over the Cougars. Natalie Shelton led the Lady Dogs with 16 points. The Lady Dogs improve to 15-5 on the season and 4-1 in conference play.