Hooker suffers hearbreak in area tournament PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 February 2011 09:31

By GREG CREWS
The Guymon Daily Herald
ENID, Okla. — Few teams were better in the clutch this season than the Hooker Bulldogs. But on Thursday, they finally felt what it was like to be on the wrong end of a nail-biter.
The Bulldogs led with a minute to play before falling behind and missing a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds as Okeene held on to win 41-40 in their consolation bracket opener of Class A, Area 1 Tournament at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center in Enid.
“It was just the case of two really evenly matched teams,” Hooker coach Bud Valerius said. “We just didn’t make enough plays.”
Sophomore guard Joe Bean led the Bulldogs with 10 points, while sophomore forward Payson Slater had nine. Junior guard Alex Sanchez and sophomore guard Gabe Morales each had six points, while senior Jason Ingland had three and freshman Taylor McBee added two points.
During the regular season the Bulldogs built their reputation on pulling out close games, going 4-1 in contests decided by four or fewer points.
While the loss hurts now, Valerius thinks it could serve as motivation for next season as his squad is expected to return all but two players and four of their five starters.
“I think that losing the way we did, that is going to stick with them,” Valerius said. “You have to be there before to make the next step, and now that we have been here we can make the next step next season.”
The Bulldogs finished the season with a record of 18-8 and a district title.
“I am extremely pleased,” Valeius said. “As a team we got better and better all year long. The kids matured as individuals. I think they made some headway and I’m proud of it.”

 

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