By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
TURPIN, Okla., - Playing their first home game of the season, the Turpin Cardinals played inspired basketball almost upsetting the No.3 team in Class B, Fargo. But 20 fourth quarter free throw attempts compared to just nine for Turpin the entire game proved too much to overcome, and the Bearcats escaped with a 50-48 victory.
“I don’t know what to say,” Cardinals coach Gary Wallace said. “My guys gave it everything they had. We deserved to win, even Coach Caldwell (Fargo coach) said that. They kept getting to the line. It seemed like that’s all they did the whole fourth quarter was shoot free throws.”
It was almost all Fargo did in the fourth quarter. Fargo had just one made field goal in the quarter, and did not score it until the final minute of the game.
Overall Turpin was whistled for 26 fouls; Fargo had 11. Three Turpin players, including two starters fouled out.
Turpin, Francisco Regelado in particular, started well. Regelado scored the first eight Cardinal points, including 2 3-pointers to give Turpin an early 8-5 lead. Turpin led 14-11 by the end of the first.
Turpin led throughout the first half except for five times when it was tied until Fargo scored at the halftime buzzer to take a 25-23 lead.
A 7-0 run by the Bearcats midway through the third made the score 33-25 in favor of Fargo, but Turpin answered back with two threes by Jordan Lujan and another by Regelado to knot the game at 37 heading into the fourth.
Turpin regained the lead at 43-41 on free throws by Isaac Resendiz with 4:40 left.
Turpin lost a possession the next time down the floor when Regelado threw a ball of the leg of a Fargo defender, but neither referee saw it. After conferencing the two called it a jump ball, and the possession arrow was in favor of Fargo.
On the ensuing Fargo possession, Turpin’s top-scoring post player, Edgar Anchondo fouled out.
Fargo made five more trips to the line with two shots each before Turpin would score again. Regelado stole the ball and scored on a layup to get the Cardinals within one, and with 37.5 second left Regelado converted a three-point play to tie the game at 48.
Fargo got to the line again with 27.6 seconds left and made one of two to take a 49-48 lead.
Turpin again put the ball in the hand of Regelado who went baseline, but was called for stepping out of bounds, but appeared to be pushed out.
With less than four seconds left Turpin was forced to foul. Fargo again made one of two. Turpin got the ball back with 1.6 left but could not get a shot off before the buzzer.
“We had some bad possessions late,” Wallace said. “We just haven’t been in that position enough, probably. But our heart, the way we played, and the way everyone came out to support us was huge. When we fill the gym like that and we have that much emotion it shows me a lot about our community and the team we put out on the floor.”
Francisco Regelado led the Cardinals with 18 points, including three 3-pointers. Jordan Lujan hit two threes and totaled 8 points. A total of eight different players scored for Turpin.
Turpin (6-9) will host Tyrone tonight.