By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
TURPIN, Okla., - It’s been a long, hard road trip for the Turpin Lady Cardinals who played their first home game of the season after playing the first 14 on the road, 13 having ended in defeat. Turpin battled back from 15 down to twice come within one, but could not overcome the Fargo Lady Bearcats, losing, 50-44.
“We dug a hole,” Lady Cardinals coach Jeff Funk said. “We didn’t shoot well in the first half. We changed our offense at halftime and got 31 points out of it. Our high-low wasn’t working so we went to a four-out and were able to penetrate and get some shots in the lane. We haven’t scored like that in a long time.”
Turpin trailed 33-22 with 2:17 left in the third quarter when they went on a 9-0 run capped by Raegan Alvarez’s banked-in three to start the fourth quarter bringing the Lady Cardinals within two.
With 3:39 left Fargo had built their lead back to five (40-35). Turpin’s Eloisa Aquino converted a three-point play with 2:58 to make it a one-point game again. Maylinh Cruz was had a chance to tie the game one the next trip, but could not covert her chance at a three-point play with 2:12 left.
Fargo nailed a three-point basket on their next possession to go up 46-42, and made 4 of 5 free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win.
Fargo had dominated the first half, first taking a 9-1 lead, and later a 7-0 run that put the Lady Bearcats up 17-6 with 4:34 left in the half. Turpin was able to get some offense going at that point, but Fargo still doubled them up at half, 26-13.
Both teams spent a tremendous time at the foul line with a combined 47 fouls called, and 62 free throws attempted. Each team had two players foul out.
“Two or three of my players told me during the game told me they didn’t feel like they could play how they normally do because of how the fouls were being called,” Funk said. “I thought it hurt us.”
For Turpin the loss was frustrating, but after recent blowout losses the level of competitiveness in the game brought hope of getting better and finding some wins.
“We can build on this,” Funk said. “We’re going to put together four quarters eventually. We’ll get there. It was good to finally play in front of our home crowd tonight. They really gave us a lot of energy.”
Raegan Alvarez led the Lady Cardinals with 20 points, including a three and 9 of 12 shooting at the charity stripe. Alyssa Kinser added 9, and Ashli Funk 7.
Turpin (1-14) will take on Tyrone (6-9) tonight at home.