No. 20 Hooker edges No. 10 Vici for spot in regional final PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 February 2011 12:39

Special to the Leader & Times
LAVERNE, Okla. — The Hooker Bulldogs aren’t flying under the radar anymore.
The Bulldogs, who quietly built a 16-6 record during the regular season, made a big splash Thursday as they edged No. 10 Vici, 40-37 to earn a spot in the championship game of the Class A Regional Tournament.
Hooker has won 12 of its last 13 games after a 5-5 start.
“Winning the first game of the regional is huge because it not only means you get to play in the region championship, but you also get that free pass to the area tournament,” Hooker coach Bud Valerius said.
The Bulldogs (17-6) ran into trouble early as they scored only four points in the first quarter and ended the period trailing 9-4. They battled back to tie the game up at 18 by halftime.
“They got on us. We came out a little tight and their pressure bothered us a little bit. We sped up what we were doing,” Valerius said. “(In the second quarter) we finally got some stops and relaxed a little bit and made some buckets.”
Hooker led 28-26 at the end of the third quarter in the back-and-forth game before taking the lead for good with less than a minute to go in the game.
Sophomore Payson Slater led Hooker with 15 points and 18 rebounds, while sophomore Joe Bean tallied 14 points. Junior Cody Ansley had five points, junior Alex Sanchez had three and freshman Taylor McBee had one.
The Bulldogs will play for the region title at 8 p.m. Saturday in Woodward against Okarache, which beat Drummond in the other winner’s bracket semifinal Thursday.
“We know that we have to play a great Okarache team, which was ranked No. 1 for most of the year,” Valerius said. “But it’s nice to get this win and to know that we are in the Area Tournament without having to completely wear ourselves out, because if you get in the loser’s bracket and have to play those extra games without a day off, it wears you down.”
—Greg Crews of the Guymon Daily Herald and Shawn Yorks of the Leader & Times contributed to this report.

 

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