By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
FORGAN, Okla. - Forgan’s Luis Ordonez only hit two shots all night. But the back-to-back threes Ordonez hit tied the game in the fourth, and gave the Bulldogs hope.
Forgan completed the rally and avoided the strong upset bid by Texhoma, 51-47.
“Texhoma played with more passion, intensity and more desire than we did,” Bulldogs coach Todd Kerr said. “They played well enough to win the game, and probably should have. “
Texhoma led 39-35 less than a minute into the fourth quarter, and had matched Forgan basket for basket in the second half. At that point in the game, Ordonez was 0 for 4 from the field, but on two consecutive trips found himself wide open with possession of the ball. Ordonez pulled the trigger first from the top of the key, then from the corner, tying the game at 41 with 5:27 left.
“The whole game changed there,” Kerr said. “It gave us hope, and deflated them. That’s why we are a team. We had a different guy step up and make two big shots.”
Forgan took the lead on the next possession with a Trevin Lopez basket and two possessions later Jace Kerr grabbed a steal and finished the play with a dunk that put the Bulldogs up 47-43with 3:04 left and sent the hometown crowd into a frenzy.
Texhoma coach Greg Higgins quickly called a timeout and settled his team. The Red Devils answered with a Dylan Koehn three to cut the lead back to just one point.
Kerr scored again on Forgan’s next possession to put the Bulldogs back up by three with 2:29 left.
Nathan Knitig got to the line for the Red Devils and made one of two, but Forgan held Texhoma scoreless over the final two minutes, and a steal by Demetrius Alston led to Kerr hitting two free throws with 23 seconds to seal the victory for the Bulldogs.
“Every time you are in pressure situations and you have to make plays it’s good for you,” Kerr said. “We haven’t had many of those this year so this is good. Our expectations are really high, but you still have to take them one at a time.”
Early in the game Texhoma was getting exactly what they wanted out of almost every offensive possession - time off the clock, and good shots.
Knitig scored 8 of his game-high 17 points in the first quarter as Texhoma took a 13-11 lead. Kerr answered for Forgan with 8 points of his own including a pair of three-point plays helping the Bulldogs take a 16-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Texhoma fired back to start the second with an 11-3 run that included a three by Koehn and Taylor Folsom’s second three of the game to go up 23-19 with 2:10 left in the half.
Texhoma still led by four at the half, 27-23.
Chandler Bryer hit his second three of the game with 3:41 left in the third to give Forgan their first lead of the second half, 33-31.
But Knitig drew a foul call against Kerr on the ensuing possession and tied the game at the line. Texhoma then retook the lead 37-35 heading into the fourth.
Jace Kerr led the Bulldogs with 16 points; Trevin Lopez added 9, Demetrius Alston 8, and Chandler Bryer 8.
Nathan Knitig led all scorers with 17, Taylor Folsom added 10, Moises Gray 8, and Dylan Keohn 8 for the Red Devils.
No.1 Forgan (21-0) travels to No.6 Laverne (12-3) Tuesday.
Texhoma (12-8) is finished with the regular season and will face Boise City Friday night in the opening round of the district playoffs.