By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
After leading almost the entire game, the Hooker Bulldogs collapsed in the fourth quarter and lost Stratford, Tex. Elks, 64-52.
For three quarters the Hooker Bulldogs had managed to handle the Stratford Elks full-court press. The Bulldogs entered the fourth quarter with a 46-45 lead. But a 19-6 final period in favor of the Elks left Hooker with too many 'what if' questions.
"We just quit doing what we had been doing all night," Bulldogs coach Chad Hussey said. "We're trying to find answers now. We handled their press for three quarters. It was a back and forth game and we were scoring at will all night. Then all the sudden we couldn't do it."
Stratford held a 17-14 edge after the first quarter of play, but Hooker bounced back with a 19-14 advantage in the second to go up 33-31 at half.
Even with a 14-13 third quarter in favor of the Elks, Hooker still had the advantage heading to the fourth. But it all fell apart there, as Stratford escaped town with a 12-point victory.
"I'm not sure if some of the mental edge we lost in the fourth was due to fatigue, but that's what we have to work on to get better-our mental toughness," Hussey said.
Hooker (2-6) is off for the Christmas break, and will return to the hardwood Jan. 7th when they host Guymon.