Hooker handles rival Texhoma PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 13:08

By GREG CREWS
The Guymon Daily Herald
HOOKER, Okla. — For Superman there is kryptonite. For the Texhoma Red Devils there is Alex Sanchez.
Six weeks after sinking the game-winning free throws to beat Texhoma, Hooker’s junior guard drove the nail in once again, swishing a fall-back jumper just before the buzzer to lift the Bulldogs to a 46-44 victory at home Tuesday.
“(Alex) is definitely a gamer. When the lights come on he likes it,” Hooker coach Bud Valerius said. “When there is there is a big game shot, I want the ball in his or (Pason) Slater’s hands because those two have the character to make big shots, which they have proven.”
Texhoma (7-7) tied the game at 44-all with 12.9 seconds remaining as Skylor Rodriguez hit a pair of free throws.
The Bulldogs inbounded the ball to Sanchez and quickly moved to the baseline, letting Sanchez go 1-on-1 for a final shot. Sanchez waited for his teammates to get in position, tucked his head and drove hard toward the basket before slamming the breaks and pulling up from 15 feet out. The Hooker crowd erupted as the ball dropped into the nylon with less than 2 seconds remaining, and Texhoma couldn’t inbound the ball before the buzzer sounded.
“I didn’t think it was going to go in,” said Sanchez, who jumped up and down in celebration before being hoisted in the air by his teammates. “I was pretty pumped. It was exciting.”
Hooker (9-5) trailed 32-30 going into the fourth quarter, but Slater put the Bulldogs on top with a three-point play and the Red Devils managed just two points in the first 3 minutes of the period as they fell behind 39-34.
Texhoma was down 43-39 with 27 seconds remaining, when Bryson Beattie made it a one-point game with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Six seconds and much confusion later, referees signaled that the Red Devils were getting the ball back due to a 5-second violation on Hooker. During that same play, however, Texhoma was whistled for a foul, and after conferring, the officials sent the Bulldogs to the free throw line.
Chad Kennedy hit 1-of-2 free throws to put Hooker up 44-42 with 21 seconds left before Rodriguez tied it up about 8 seconds later.
“We played well. Coming in on Hooker’s home court, both sides are full with good crowd atmosphere. It was a great game,” Texhoma coach Greg Higgins said. “Hooker played well. We played well. It just came down to who had the ball at the end.”
Jacob Murphy led Texhoma with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Rodriguez had 11 points and Beattie had 10. Tyler Ansley had six points and nine rebounds,  Enrique Duran had four points and four rebounds and  Jack Powers had two points.
Slater, who was playing in only his fourth game after sitting out the beginning of the season with an injury, had 13 points and 14 rebounds to pace Hooker. Sanchez had 12 points while Guerrero Garcia and Kennedy each added six. Joe Bean had four points, Taylor McBee had three, and J.D. Ingland chipped in with two points for the Bulldogs, who extended their winning streak to four.
“I told them at the end of the ballgame: The sign of a great team is teams that can win when they don’t play great,” Valerius said. “I don’t think we played great, but we found a way to win.”

 

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