Jaclyn Shambaugh Staff writer @jaclynshambaugh

Continuing a long Terry Sanford tradition, coach Darren Corbett has been pushing a defense-first mentality on his Bulldogs all season.

It was clear Thursday night the message has landed.

The Bulldogs rode out the occasional spurt of offense from visiting Overhills and hung on late for a 61-55 win.

“They believed in our defense, and they believed in each other,” Corbett said. “There were a couple times there in the second half where Overhills made a run at us. But we just settled down and concentrated on focusing on finishing the game.”

With the victory, Terry Sanford (15-5) moves into a tie with the Jaguars (18-5) for first place in the Patriot 4-A/3-A Conference.

Both teams are 13-2 in the PAC-9 with their regular-season finales schedule for Friday night. The Bulldogs host rival E.E. Smith, which pushed Terry Sanford to double-overtime in the teams’ last meeting.

Overhills hosts Pine Forest.

“I’m extremely proud of the kids, but we know we’ve one more game tomorrow to try to finish this thing off,” Corbett said.

The Bulldogs started to gather team early in Thursday’s contest, building the lead to double digits for the first time when they ripped off a string of transition baskets midway through the second quarter.

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