By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
TYRONE, Okla.— The Tyrone Bobcats took what was given to them early against the Fort Supply Bulldogs to build a double-digit lead. And while the Bobcats struggled to maintain their focus throughout, Tyrone still maintained to claim their first district title in four years, 45-32.
“I didn’t think we played a full game,” Bobcats Coach Clay Witt said. “We played well in the first half and were doing the things we wanted to do, getting up and down the court and attacking the goal.”
Early on it was evident that Tyrone had a quickness advantage, and used it. Tanner Hurst drained a three midway through the first quarter to put Tyrone up 9-3. Tyrone led 12-6 at the end of the first quarter and had already started another run that carried over into the second quarter (11-0) to take a 20-6 lead when Adam DeLeon hit the team’s third trey with 4:05 left in the half.
“They ran a box and one and tried to keep (Tanner) Hurst out of the offense, and tried to roll over and help against Willie (Slater) too,” Witt said. “Torres was big off the bench, hitting three three’s in the second quarter and helped us stretch out the lead.”
Fort Supply continued to pack the paint and leave shooters open from beyond the arc. Tyrone continued to take advantage. Alex Torres came off the bench to ignite the Bobcats’ offense with 11 points in the quarter, including hitting three shots from long distance as Tyrone took a 28-13 lead at the half.
All but a single point from a made free throw by the Bulldogs came from three-point range as well.
“That’s the most three-heavy team we’ve faced all season,” Witt said. “We’ve played teams that rely on the three, but they live and die by it. We didn’t do a good job of communicating or switching and at times they made us pay.”
Tyrone continued their dominance early in the third with a 7-0 run that put the Bobcats up by 21 (37-16) with 4:44 left. After three quarters Tyrone led 39-23.
Fort Supply got within 13 twice following 3-pointers and even cut it to 12 with less than a minute to play, but despite scoring just six points in the fourth, Tyrone held on for the win.
“In the second half, I don’t know if we got comfortable with the lead, but we stopped attacking,” Witt said. “We went away from those things for whatever reason. But district champs, we haven’t done that in four years, we’re tickled to have another one here.”
Alex Torres led the Bobcats in scoring with 13 points; William Slater added 8.
No.6 Tyrone (21-2) will take on Kremlin-Hillsdale, Thursday at 8 p.m. at Waynoka in the first round of the Regional Tournament.