By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
The Forgan Bulldogs finished the first half with a 15-0, four-minute stretch that was key in their 60-41 win over the Shattuck Indians.
Forgan led 19-12 at the end of the first quarter, but Shattuck went on a small 6-2 run to cut the Bulldogs lead to just three points (21-18) with 4:25 left in the first half.
That's when Forgan answered.
"Obviously the biggest stretch of the game was the last four minutes of the first half," Bulldogs coach Todd Kerr said. "We were really good during that time. We defended, we stole the basketball from them, and we moved the ball incredibly well in transition and finished. It was one of those times I was glad I got to watch it."
While it was multiple Bulldogs contributing during that critical stretch, it was Jake Regier who was setting then net on fire. Regier scored 12 of the 15, including three 3-pointers (one a 4-point play), and finished the half with 22 of his game-high 25 points.
Chandler Bryer finished with 9, and Kameron Hall added 8.
With the run, Forgan led 36-18 at the half.
After trading buckets early in the third, Forgan pushed their lead to 24 (46-22) on Trent Brown's putback with three minutes left in the third.
Shattuck finished the quarter on an 11-4 run to get the deficit below 20 (50-31) heading into the fourth, but could get no closer than 17.
"I thought we played well. I thought our intensity and our toughness was probably the key in the win tonight," Kerr said. "We shot the ball well. The way we played defense and rebounded made the difference."
Forgan advances to the championship game where they will face the same team they faced in last year's finale of the Oil Center Classic, Mooreland.
"I think they are a very athletic team," Kerr said. "They're young and aggressive. I'm very impressed with what they've done especially battling back tonight. It's a good opponent for us to play."