By JEREMIAH WILSON
Leader & Times
HUGOTON — An abundance of fouls called on the Hooker Bulldogs, and the subsequent trips to the free throw line for the Ulysses Tigers led to the Bulldogs demise Thursday night in the opening round of the Red and Blue Classic in Hugoton.
Down the stretch the Tigers made just enough of those free throws to come away with a 56-51 win, and advance.
Early on, the two teams seemed to match one another point-for-point, with Ulysses having the slimmest of advantages, leading 12-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Play continued on like that in the second, as neither team could pull out ahead of the other, and the Tigers kept their slim lead heading into halftime, 21-20.
Ulysses came out strong in the third, grabbing a double-digit lead early on in the quarter. The Tigers were determined to step on on defense and not let the Bulldogs back in the game. But when the third quarter had ended, Hooker had crept back into the game, and trailed by only six at 37-31.
The Bulldogs fought hard to overcome the Tiger lead, and got within one on multiple occasions, but in the end, the fouls were what killed Hooker, with Dakotah McBride and Hunter Brown both fouling out of the game.
When the final buzzer sounded, Ulysses escaped with the 56-51 victory.
The Bulldogs will be in action again at 4:45 p.m. today when they take on the Southwestern Heights Mustangs.