By JASON EPP
In the playoffs, the only stat that matters is a W. And for the Turpin Cardinals it took a fourth quarter comeback and an extra period to win the Class A District 4 title, 58-53, over Laverne.
“Our motto for the playoffs is just finding a way to win,” said Cardinals coach Gary Wallace. “I did not want the game this close this early but I think it will do more good than harm. Laverne played really well and made a lot of shots (6 threes).”
Laverne came out hot, hitting three bombs from beyond the arc in the first quarter. Turpin’s Keifer Hood helped keep the Cardinals in the game with two of his own in the first to keep the game knotted at 13 after one period.
Aaron Kuns led the charge for the Cardinals in the second with a couple of baskets and two free throws. Turpin outscored the Tigers 14-11 in the quarter to take a 27-24 lead at the half.
Turpin looked to be in trouble as Laverne took control of the game in the third and led by seven heading into the fourth.
But the Cardinals found a way in the fourth outscoring Laverne 16-9 to tie the game at the end of regulation at 49.
Turpin dominated the overtime period, holding the Tigers to 4 points to win 58-53.
“I did not think our defense was bad, but we had a hard time stopping them,” said Wallace. “Our press and pressure defense was the difference in the end because we got a lot of steals and layups.”
Turpin helped themselves by making them count at the free throw line, going 12 of 15, including no misses in the second half or overtime.
Kiefer Hood finished the game with 19 points including five threes and a perfect 4-for-4 night at the line. Konner Hood scored 13, with 8 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. Aaron Kuns added 10, Cale Longhofer 8, and Braydon Robinson 6.
Turpin advances to the regional tournament in the winner’s bracket and will play Texhoma at Laverne Thursday at 8 p.m.