By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
BEAVER, Okla., — Four senior Lady Dusters went out on top in their final game at the Duster Dome, defeating the Forgan Lady Bulldogs, 53-38.
“The kids played really well,” Lady Dusters coach Casey Jones. “There’s the added incentive for the four seniors, this was the last time they’ll play at home. Every one of them played well. Just really pleased with the way they played and fought. They played hard. I’m very proud.”
Beaver had tried three times before during the season to take down the Lady Bulldogs, but failed to do so until Saturday night.
“They are a tough matchup for us,” Jones said. “Their size is trouble, and it was trouble during this game, especially on the boards.”
Beaver countered Forgan’s size advantage with an attacking style of offense that helped get them layups and and open shots. Beaver was also able to get to the foul line, and made 19 of 24 from there.
“I didn’t really realize that until somebody said afterwards,” Jones said. “I knew we were hitting them. I’ll take that any night of the week.”
Beaver led by eight at half, but Forgan came out with heavy defensive pressure and was able to get the Lady Dusters to commit a few turnovers. A 3-point basket by Forgan’s Nikki Taylor cut the lead to just three (34-31) less than two minutes into the third quarter.
But Beaver ended the quarter with a 7-0 lead to go up 44-35 heading into the fourth.
Leading 47-38 midway through the fourth quarter, Beaver’s Jacinda Balderrama drained a three, her third triple of the game, which felt like the nail in the coffin to finish off the Lady Bulldogs.
Beaver built their confidence early in the game with a 16-6 run in the first. A 7-0 run to start the second quarter gave the Dusters their first double-digit lead (23-12) with 5:35 left.
Beaver’s Jacinda Balderrama scored a game-high 21. Balderrama was 3 of 5 from 3-point, 4 of 10 from 2-point, and 4 of 6 from the charity stripe. Kalie Hoover was 4 of 6 for 10 points; Cassie Howell added 8, and Kaitlin Kemp and Shelby Brown each added 6.
Kenzi Taylor scored 18 on points, including 12 of 13 from the free throw line. Kenzi was just 3 of 21 from the field. Nikki Taylor added 10, and Gabby Morales 6.
Beaver (9-13) will travel to Southwestern Heights (9-6) Tuesday. Forgan (15-7) will be at Texhoma.