By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
BEAVER, Okla. — The Hooker Lady Bulldogs’ season came to an end Friday night in the Duster Dome, as the Laverne Lady Tigers handed Hooker a 48-30 loss in the Class A district semifinals. Laverne automatically qualifies for the regional tournament in Woodward next weekend, and will play No. 10 Beaver (20-2) for the district championship Saturday night on the Lady Dusters’ home court.
Hooker (9-13) got off to a slow, methodical start, and took an early 6-2 lead behind Shayla Mathis and Jade Cathcart, who were strong in the paint early.
But Laverne found its shooting stroke in the cavernous Duster Dome, ending the first period on an 8-0 run, and never looking back.
“I thought the whole difference in the game is they (Laverne) shot it really well, and we didn’t,” Hooker head coach Ray Kennedy said. “We had some good looks. We had shots under the basket we missed, we had open threes we missed, we shot really poor from the free throw line. You’ve got to be able to score and shoot the ball better than we did.”
Laverne (12-10) took a 10-6 lead in the first quarter and increased it to 21-17 by halftime. The Lady Dogs were down by as much as seven in the second.
Laverne opened the second half with an 8-0 run that essentially put it away as Hooker would never get any closer than eight the rest of the way.
Mathis led Hooker with 12 points in her final game as a Lady Bulldog, Cathcart added eight, Jayme Walton and Crystal Ferguson three each, Shania Miller and Morgan Daves two each.
Hooker was 2-for-7 from the charity stripe in the second half, with Daves making two freebies with one second left in the contest.
Laverne’s K.D. Zollinger led the Lady Tigers with 14, including four 3-pointers, and Hartly Carlisle added 13.
Hooker graduates three seniors —Ferguson, Mathis and Shelbi Sanchez, and Kennedy said his team did play well at times this season.
“We kind of played in spurts all season,” Kennedy said. “We’d play well here and there, and then we wouldn’t. Overall it was a disappointing season.
“We did have some good wins — at the end of Christmas we had a good win at Stratford (Texas) and we got another nice win against Guymon at Guymon.”
• The Hooker boys will take on Beaver Saturday night in the Duster Dome. Beaver was a 48-36 winner over Laverne’s boys on Friday night.