By SHAWN YORKS
The Guymon Daily Herald
HUGOTON, Kan - For the first few minutes of Friday afternoon's game against Perryton, Texas in the second round of the Blue & Red Classic, the Hooker Lady Bulldogs didn't play like the team that started the season 6-0. Perryton's Rangerettes were dominating the Lady Dogs on the boards, and went on an 8-1 run to take an early 4-point lead in the final seconds of the first quarter.
"In the first quarter, they were killing us on the boards," said Hooker head coach Ray Kennedy. "We called a timeout, and that's what we really emphasized."
The talk worked.
After Jessica Ugarte got a steal and followup (the first of six steals) to cut it to 8-6 at the end of the first, the Lady Dogs rolled to a 53-30 win to improve to 7-0 on the season. The ladies will take on Hugoton today at 6:30 p.m. for the tournament championship.
Ugarte's second steal and hoop tied it, and Kyra Cathcart hit twice from the field to give Hooker the lead at 12-8.
After Perryton's Emma Mercado tied it with 3:43 left in the second, Hooker went on a 13-0 run to take a 26-13 lead at the half.
"We played really, really well," Kennedy said. "We did a really nice job blocking out. We just ran a straight man defense, and I think we did a really nice job."
After Mercado cut it to an 11-point game to start the third quarter, Perryton went on a 6-minute scoring freeze. Meanwhile, Hooker went on an 18-0 run and led 44-15 before Addyson Moseley hit two free throws for the Rangerettes.
"We were putting as much pressure on the ball as we could get," Kennedy said.
Cathcart scored 21 points to go with Thursday's 27-point effort to lead the Lady Dogs. Mariana Cervantes scored 11 quality points in the paint, Jessica Ugarte and Shania Miller scored 6 points apiece, Vanessa Wiebe 5, Naomi Rodriguez 3 and Gissel Ugarte 1.
Mercado scored 11 to lead Perryton.
The Lady Bulldogs play for the tournament title at 6:30 p.m. today against the Hugoton Lady Eagles, which defeated Gruver, Texas 48-42 Friday.