Bulldogs overcome illness, slaps Dusters 64-57 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 12:29

By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
HOOKER, Okla. — Even battling illness, the Hooker High School Bulldogs made a statement. Facing a team they could potentially face again in the next few weeks with the district championship on the line, the Bulldogs held off a charging Beaver Dusters 64-57 Tuesday night.
“We had kids sick in there,” Hooker head coach Bud Valerius said. “I really think they did a good job gutting it out.”
The win extends Hooker’s winning streak to eight and gives the Bulldogs a 13-5 overall record. Beaver  falls to 13-7.
And it was those Dusters — fresh off a last-second win over Rolla, Kan. on Friday — who got off to a fast start. Behind the duo of Cole Trippet and Samuel Becker, Beaver jumped to a 15-9 lead in the first, and led 19-15 at the end of the period.
Becker and Trippet accounted for all of Beaver’s points in the first eight minutes.
The Bulldogs made their move in the second — and it was everybody on the floor who made it happen.
Payson Slater cut it to 19-17, then after Trippet put Beaver back up by four, Gabe Morales nailed a 3-pointer to cut the Duster lead to one. Beaver couldn’t convert, and Alex Sanchez gave Hooker it’s first lead, 22-21 with 5:32 left in the second quarter.
Hooker would never trail again, building its lead to 35-25 by halftime.
“The first game after a tournament I think is one of the hardest games to play because you’re so emotionally invested,” Valerius said. “Then you have to play a really good Beaver team.”
The Bulldogs have twice had to play Texhoma in the past week — once in Hooker and again last Saturday in the championship of the Texhoma tournament. Both were close wins for the Bulldogs.
Texhoma players and coaches were in attendance Tuesday night in Hooker since the Red Devils have to play at Beaver on Friday.
After Becker cut Hooker’s lead to 24-23, the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run, sparked by a Slater steal. Slater, Taylor McBee and Joe Bean each had field goals on the run and McBee added a free throw.
Hooker led by as many as 13 in the third quarter and maintained a 46-37 advantage entering the fourth.
Then the Dusters made a charge.
Down 10, a steal by Tanner McFarland led to a basket inside by Kalen Gabel. After a J.D. Ingland free throw made it a 9-point game, Becker and Trippet each scored to cut it to four.
Two more Ingland freebies made it 55-49, but the Dusters got two and a free throw from Gabel to make it a 3-point game.
That would be as close as Beaver would get.
Bean hit a jumper to make ti 59-54, then the Bulldogs did their damage from the free throw line, going 5-for-8 down the stretch.
Slater ended up with 21 points to lead Hooker.
“Payson played a terrific game,” Valerius said. “Especially early in the game, kept us in the game when (Beaver) came out really hot.”
Morales and McBee — a freshman and sophomore — also stood out for Hooker.
“They did a good job coming off the bench and giving us energy,” Valerius said. “I thought Guerrero Garcia did a good job. Joe (Bean) was sick, Chad (Kennedy) rolled is ankle and they kind of gutted it out.”
Sanchez and Bean each had 10 for Hooker.
Beaver was led by 27 from Becker and 15 from Trippet.
Beaver will be at home Friday in the Duster Dome to battle Texhoma while Hooker will face another tough test at Class 4A Guymon.
“This is a brutal part of the schedule, a grueling part,” Valerius said. “It’s hard mentally and physically. These kids have a way of answering the challenges so I don’t expect anything but the best from them.”

 

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