Issac Vann scored 25 points and the Bunnell High boys basketball team defeated visiting St. Joseph, 79-68, on Monday night in the first round of the Class L state playoffs.

Vann led five players in double figures, as the No. 9 seed Bulldogs fought off the upset-minded No. 24 seed Cadets in the fourth quarter.

A driving layup by Arkel Ager-Lamar narrowed St. Joseph's gap to 64-59 with 3:29 left to play. Bunnell's Donte' Peeler then converted a putback on the other end and was fouled by Steve Hashemi on the layup. Teammate Jonathan Dzurenda was charged with a technical foul for the arguing the call, as Peeler sank his and-one free throw and Ryan Pittman drained the ensuing technical foul shots.

When the dust settled, the Bulldogs (19-5) held a 69-59 advantage and kept their lead at a minimum of five points the rest of the way.

Pittman added 16 points for Bunnell, while Peeler had 14 off the bench. Justin Townsend chipped in with 11 points and Aaron Samuel 10, as the Bulldogs punched their tickets to second round of the Class L state tournament. There, they will face No. 8 seed Wilbur Cross (17-6) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in New Haven.

Dzurenda poured in a game-high 33 points for St. Joseph, which finished its season at 10-12. Ager-Lamar had 14 points and Raekwon Reid 10 for the Cadets.

For the full game story, check out this week's issue of the Trumbull Times.