CENTER — The Carthage Bulldogs played three solid quarters then held off the Roughriders in the fourth to stay perfect in district with a 56-47 win Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs are now 8-1 for the season and 5-0 in District 10-4A heading into Friday night’s game at home against Jasper.

Carthage led 23-14 after one period and outscored the Roughriders 11-5 in the second to go up 34-19 at the half.

The lead grew to 47-27 after three, before Center’s 20-9 fourth-quarter rally came up short.

“Anytime you can go on the road in this district and get a win, it’s a good thing,” Carthage Coach Charlie Tucker said. “Center has some good players and are very well coached. They have a couple of kids that create a match up problem for our zone defense.

“We came out in the first half and played some of the best 16 minutes of basketball that we have played all year. We just have to get more of a finish mentality and that is on me.”

Quinton Owens and Montrel Hatten led the Dawgs in scoring with 12 each, while Kai Horton had 11, Nick Stewart had seven, De’Aundrey Bowman had five, Kelvontay Dixon had four, Montrell Smith had three and Nate Marry had two.

Tucker still sees things to improve on, and realizes his team has played far fewer games that its opponents. But they are running out of time with the playoffs fast approaching.

“We have a lot of things to improve on,” Tucker said. “If you think about it, we have only played games all year and most teams we play have almost played 30. So, if we are done improving then we are in big trouble. Jasper is coming in on a two-game win streak and they are starting to get things together. We will have our hands full again.”