By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
FORGAN, Okla.- There was no looking ahead to Saturday's matchup with defending state champion and current No.2 Arnett for the top-ranked Forgan Bulldogs. Forgan overwhelmed Turpin, scoring the first 21 points of the game on their way to a 66-35 win.
No play epitomized the Bulldogs play and their place at the top of the rankings like the first score of the game; a steal just past mid-court, three quick passes with the ball never touching the floor until it was finished off with a dunk.
Who made the steal? Who scored the basket? It did not matter because the parts were interchangeable with each taking his turn scoring, stealing, passing, and rebounding as Forgan built a 21-0 lead, the last of those first quarter baskets coming with four starters already on the bench.
A put-back basket by Kyler Musgrave with eight seconds left kept the Cardinals from being shut out in the first quarter.
"I was really pleased with the way we came out and created our own intensity," Bulldogs coach Todd Kerr said. "We were a little sloppy the first few trips but then we got rolling and got some good work. It was good we got a game where we were able to get everybody quite a few minutes to play."
Forgan starters played sparingly the rest of the first half, and only one played at all in the second half. With the game well in hand, and a huge game already less than 24 hours from its start, the rest was welcomed.
Forgan led 33-2 with just over four minutes left in the second quarter, and 44-11 at half.
"Forgan's got a good club," Cardinals coach Gary Wallace said. "They're big, athletic, and their traps bothered us. "
It did not help the cause that the Cardinals top scorer and ball handler missed his second game with the flu. But whatever difference it would have made would not have been near enough Friday night against Forgan's swarming defensive pressure that leaves no room for you to get comfortable.
"We feel like at the defensive end if you can make people uncomfortable you're going to be ahead of the game, so that's what we try to do," Kerr said. "If we can get people hurrying and playing at a pace they're not accustom to we believe that benefits us."
Jace Kerr led all scorers with 14 points, all in the first half. Demetrius Alston added 13. Trevin Lopez scored 11, all in the first half, and Cameron Vanatta came off the bench to score 11.
Isaac Resendiz was the only Cardinal in double figures with 11. Kyler Musgrave added 8.
For Forgan, it is the rematch they have been waiting for with Arnett; a team they embarrassed in the state championship two years ago, then got embarrassed by in the Area championship last year.
Turpin also faces a quick turnaround as they host Shattuck Saturday for their homecoming.