By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
HUGOTON-After just missing out on playing in the championship game, the Hooker Lady Bulldogs had reason for another letdown. But instead of a letdown the Lady Bulldogs used a big third quarter to defeat the Ulysses Lady Tigers 57-47 to take third place at the Blue and Red Classic held in Hugoton.
" I was really proud of the girls," said Lady Bulldogs coach Ray Kennedy. " I was really concerned because we played the late game last night, and it went down to the wire. Then today, we had to play the early game, but they came out and played really well."
It was a 10-0 outburst by the Lady Bulldogs in the third quarter that was the difference in the game. Hooker outscored Ulysses in the third quarter 18-7, and stretched their lead to its highest point at 14. The Lady Tigers continued to play even with Hooker, but could not rally to cut the lead any lower than 10.
After a first half where Hooker utilized their press and up-tempo style they have used all season, the Lady Bulldogs slowed the tempo down in the second half, and found an advantage.
"Our transition wasn't what it needed to be, and they did a nice job scoring out of it too," said Kennedy.
The first quarter was fast paced with each team scoring 20 in the quarter, and multiple lead changes. The pace slowed a little in the second with Hooker leading 32-31 at halftime.
One player Hooker used to exploit Ulysses in the half-court offense was Shania Miller. Miller hit three 3-point buckets and scored a total of 20.
" They weren't guarding the corner down real hard in their zone, and that's where she plays against a zone and she knocked down some shots," said Kennedy.
All-tournament selection Kyra Cathcart also had a nice game with 22 points, including 8 of 12 from the free throw line. Jayme Walton was also named all-tournament and scored 7.
Hooker is now 6-2 and will host Tyrone Tuesday.