By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
FORGAN, Okla. — For about three quarters Tuesday night, the Class 4A Guymon Tigers hung with the No. 1 Class B team in the land.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, basketball games last four quarters.
A 12-0 third quarter run helped push the Forgan Bulldogs to a 51-39 win over Guymon.
“I thought we were patient offensively in the first half and got some good looks,” Forgan head coach Todd Kerr said. “We didn’t rush things and were able to have a lead. I thought we played a really good third quarter.”
Guymon (12-5) held an 11-9 lead after the first quarter before Forgan pulled ahead 20-16 at the half.
Then came that third quarter run.
“They just made shots, and I thought we took some pretty good shots — they converted, they hit theres. We did not,” Guymon head coach Tyler Chapman said.
Rhett Radcliff, Tanner Jones and Jake Regier led the Bulldog charge in the third quarter. Guymon didn’t score until the 3:30 mark when Trey Fankhouser sank a free throw.
Guymon’s Jace Melton opened the contest with a basket to give the Tigers an early lead. Forgan matched it with a quick hoop by Tyler McReynolds. Then the Tigers surged ahead, led by a 3-pointer by Matthew LeGrange.
Down 7-4, Ryan Radcliff nailed a trey to tie it. But LeGrange answered for Guymon to give the Tigers a 9-7 advantage.
Radcliff responded for Forgan, but the Tigers struck another blow when Trey Fankhouser punched one in to give Guymon the 2-point lead at the end of one.
Legrange started the second period with a steal and hoop for a 13-9 Guymon lead. Then the teams traded blows as Matt Morris dropped a trey and Radcliff followed it up with a basket as Forgan regained the lead 14-13.
Alfredo Garcia hit a 3-pointer to give Guymon a 16-14 advantage, but Forgan (17-2) ended the period on a 6-0 run behind three consecutive baskets by Ryan Radcliff.
The Tigers, however, had one last push in them in the fourth quarter.
Down 43-23, Fankhouser nailed a 3-pointer and a traditional 2-pointer to cut the Forgan lead to 15. After Forgan couldn’t convert, Garcia sent one in from way downtown, then Colter Headrick followed that up with a steal, dishing off to LeGrange, who pulled back and hit another long-distance shot. Suddenly, the Tigers were down just nine.
Melton brought it back to a 9-point deficit after Ryan Radcliff scored for Forgan, then the Bulldogs played the final two minutes from the free throw line. Forgan converted 6-of-8 freebies down the stretch to hang on for the win.
Chapman said his team’s performance showed how much it has matured.
“One thing about this team this year is they play together, they never give up,” Chapman said.
“Hat’s off to them, the way they played, the game plan that they had,” Kerr said. “They did what they needed to do to stay in the ballgame.”
Scoring was fairly balanced for both teams as six Tigers scored and seven Bulldogs found the bottom of the net.
Ryan Radcliff led Forgan with 18, Rhett Radcliff added 12, Matt Morris and Tanner Jones 6 each, Tyler McReynolds 4, Jake Regier 3 and Tayler Eagan 2.
LeGrange led Guymon with 11, Fankhouser and Alfredo Garcia each added 9, Melton 6, Headrick 3 and Braxton Dain 2.