By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
TURPIN, Okla., - With timely pressure defense and two offensive runs in the second half, the Tyrone Bobcats pulled away from the Turpin Cardinals for a 49-37 win.
"The way Turpin has been playing ball lately we came in respecting them very much," Bobcats coach Clay Witt. "They almost knocked off a very good Fargo team the other night. We're very excited about how we played tonight. I don't care if it was by one, ten or by 20, I'm just tickled to get out of here with a win."
After ending the first half tied at 21, Turpin's Jordan Lujan (11 points) scored with 6:39 on the clock in the third to give the Cardinals their second lead of the game (23-21). Tyrone responded with an 8-0 run highlighted by back-to-back threes by two players who do most of their damage in the paint, Payson Slater and Ethan Reece.
"When it comes to our press, we don't go very deep so we have to pick our spots," Witt said. "Tonight we found our spot in the third quarter and extended the lead."
Turpin answered back to cut the Bobcat's lead back to just two (32-30). The quarter ended with Tyrone up 36-30. Payson Slater scored 10 of his game-high 22 in the third.
Tyrone scored 9 of the next 11 points, mainly by getting steals and forcing Turpin turnovers in their full-court press to extend their lead to 13 (45-32) with 4:29 left in the game. Austin Olivas scored half of his 16 during the Bobcats biggest run of the game.
"The most frustrating part is that they didn't pressure the ball to get steals, they just stood back and waited, yet we tried to break the press in one pass," Cardinals coach Gary Wallace said. "We run our press breaker every day, but we didn't run it well tonight. Our spacing was terrible and we didn't make good decisions."
Turpin cut the lead to nine with 3:34 left, but could not get any closer.
In the first half, Tyrone led or the game was tied except for a Turpin lead that lasted 14 seconds. The Bobcats ended the first quarter with a 7-2 run to take a 13-8 lead.
Turpin went on a 7-0 run to start the second, and Lujan's three-point play with 5:56 left gave the Cardinals a short-lived 15-13 lead. Tyrone answered back with an 8-0 run to make the score 21-15 in favor of the Bobcats.
Turpin's Freddie Baeza scored the final six points of the half to knot the game at 21. Baeza scored 10 of his team-high 12 in the second quarter.
Both teams will head, Thursday, to the Texhoma Tournament. Tyrone (15-1) will take on Balko for the third time this season at 5:15 p.m. Turpin (6-10) will take on Goodwell at 2:45 p.m.
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