By Phil Sandoval
Sports Editor, Guymon Daily Herald
TEXHOMA — A defining adjective to best fit the third chapter between Texhoma-Turpin would be as varied as the fans ages who attended the contest. Depending on individual generation profiling, Saturday’s tournament championship game was Rad, Far Out, Sick or the Bees’ Knees.
While the terminology might be different. All agree that the Red Devils 60-59 overtime win over the Cardinals was one heck of a basketball game.
Skylor Rodriquez gave Texhoma the insurance they needed, when he sank both free throws after being fouled by Turpin’s Thomas Kuns with 21.9 left in the extra period to extend a narrow 58-57 lead the Red Devils were clinging to.
“I was real nervous,” Hernandez said as he toed the stripe.
A encouraging word from teammate J.D. Pugh broke the tension.
“J.D. came over and tried to calm me down. I relaxed and I put the first one in,” he said. “Then I knew the second one was going to go in.”
Hernandez was right.
His successful toss gave the Red Devils a three-point lead, leaving Turpin, with less than 10 seconds remaining one option: Make a 3-pointer.
Not a problem.
The Cardinals made six, 3 balls in regulation. Kuns, who had one of those treys, found himself with the ball with 5.8 seconds left. His shot clanked the left side of the rim.
Unguarded Rogelio Regalado snagged the rebound inside for a ‘who cares’ bucket as the horn sounded.
“This means everything to this town,” said Matt Freeman, one of four Texhoma’s seniors who were playing in their final home tournament. “”Winning by one point in overtime just makes it more special.”
Another one of those special moments Freeman alluded to could happen next month., where according to Texhoma coach Greg Harris, a fourth game between the two clubs could take place during the upcoming Class A state playoffs.
“We’ll see them again most definitely, Harris said. “If they take care of their district and we do our district, we’ll meet in the first round of regionals. And it will be a game again.”
Although more will be at stake. That future contest couldn’t be much finer than the third go round.
Texhoma trailed twice, briefly, in the first half. Turpin forged a one-point lead in both.
The last came with 2:35 to go in the second quarter when Keifer Hood drained home a 3-pointer.
Freeman gave Texhoma the lead right back when he sank a pair of free throws on a shooting foul by Cody Levens. He extended the margin to 21-17 on the next Red Devils possession on the first of three, 3-pointers he would have in the game.
Keifer Hood, who had 21 total points, responded with 5 points of his own to put the Cardinals back on top, 22-21.
Cash Overton made the home fans happy entering intermission when he ended the half with a 3-point basket to give Texhoma a 24-22 lead.
Both teams stringed together impressive scoring runs in the third quarter.
Turpin reeled off nine straight points to open a 33-30 advantage at the three-minute mark. Texhoma returned the favor, with a 7-0 spree to pull out 37-33 with 1:03 left.
Angry with the turn of events, Cale Longhofer and Kuns hit the last two free throws of the quarter to go ahead by one again.
Both teams held leads twice in the final eight minutes of regulation. Pugh and Kuns exchanged buckets early. Freeman, who had 17 points, sank another 3-pointer with 1:21 to go for a 44-43 lead.
A trey by Kiefer Hood with 17.4 remaining looked to be the game-winner until Pugh came to the Red Devils rescue.
The lanky senior sliced his way past two Cardinal defenders without being touched with 5.3 showing on the scoreboard to force overtime. And the drama that followed.