Ten players score, Hooker rolls Rolla 70-29 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 13:16

By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
HOOKER, Okla. — What a difference one player makes.
When Payson Slater went down with an injury late in the football season, Hooker basketball fans held their breath. Slater was one of the leaders on the Hooker basketball team, and fans knew his presence would be missed.
The team responded without him, posting a 5-5 record. Now they’re 2-0 with him after a dominating 70-29 win over a tall Rolla team on Tuesday night.
One player does not a team make. But it sure is nice to have Slater back on the basketball court.
“Now that we have everybody, we’re starting to come together a little bit and learn how to play with each other,” Hooker head coach Bud Valerius said. “Payson’s just a heck of a basketball player. I knew that this summer, he fills a lot of gaps. Where we break down, he’s just such a good ball player that he is able to make some bad things look good.”
The Bulldogs (7-5) sputtered early, but never trailed in the game. Nobody scored until Guererro Garcia put one in at the 5:50 mark of the first. The game was tied at 4 when Joe Bean put in a jumper for a 6--4 lead.
The basket sparked a 13-0 run to end the first quarter with Hooker up 17-4. The Dogs increased that lead to 21-4 before Rolla finally found the bottom of the net.
Hooker led 36-14 at halftime and 56-21 at the end of the third.
“Rolla’s a good ballclub and we talked about the things we wanted to accomplish, rebounding No. 1,” Valerius said. “I thought our kids did a tremendous job on the defensive boards, limiting them to one shot. That was huge for us tonight that we hadn’t been doing.”
Garcia and Slater each scored 13 points to lead Hooker, Joe Bean scored 11, J.D. Ingland 10, Alex Sanchez six, Marcos Mendoza and Chad Kennedy four each, Cody Ansley, Gabe Morales and Drew Faulkner two apiece.

 
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