By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
HOOKER, Okla. – The Hooker Lady Bulldogs stepped up their defensive intensity in the second half, forcing Guymon turnovers that led to a 49-43 win Saturday night.
“Coming out of the half, we wanted to jump-switch those ball screens, and not play so laid back,” Lady Bulldogs coach Chad Kennedy said. “We did that and got turnover after turnover and got an 11-point lead. Then for some reason we went away from it, I don’t know if we were tired or what but we stopped going out and doing what I wanted us to. Then if felt like we picked it back up again in the fourth quarter and started do what I wanted us to do and built up a good lead.”
Hooker started the third with a two-point lead. The Lady Bulldogs came out of half in tight man coverage, and were able to get steals on Guymon’s first five possessions. Hooker made their play at the defensive end count with a 9-0 run that put them up 30-19 with 4:27 left in the third.
Guymon surged back, finishing the quarter on a 16-6 run, including three straight baskets by Dennesse Longoria to end the quarter and get the Lady Tigers back within one (36-35).
Hooker again stepped up their defensive play at the start of the fourth, and went on a 9-4 run over the first four minutes to increase their lead to six.
The Lady Bulldogs missed the front end of one-and-ones on two straight possessions giving Guymon hope of a late comeback. But the Lady Tigers could only muster one more field goal, while Hooker finished the quarter 7 of 11 from the free throw line to finish off Guymon.
“I think we came out and played pretty well tonight except for a stretch to start the second half where we turned the ball over 4 or 5 times in a row,” Lady Tigers coach Amanda Boggs. “That got us down; we picked ourselves up but couldn’t get over that hump to get back.”
The game had started slow with both teams struggling to find the bottom of the net. Guymon’s Jahaira Marquez grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for layup that gave the Lady Tigers an 8-6 lead at the end of the first.
A three by Dana Jimenez one minute into the second took the lead back for Hooker (11-10). Guymon tied the game three times in the quarter, but did not take the lead again.
Mirianna Cervantes led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points; Jade Cathcart and Dana Jimenez each added 12, and Shania Miller scored 9.
Ashlyn Wadley led the Lady Tigers with 17 points; Denessee Longoria added 13.
Hooker finishes the regular season 16-6, and will host Mooreland Saturday for the district championship.