Sluggish start dooms Forgan in regional loss
Monday, 21 February 2011 13:32
By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
GOODWELL, Okla. — The Forgan Lady Bulldogs dug themselves into too deep of a hole Saturday night. The No. 8 Balko Lady Bison held Forgan’s scoring machine to just seven first half points, then held off a second half rally to win the Class B, Region A championship 35-31 in Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Oscar Williams Fieldhouse.
No. 12 Forgan (16-9) simply couldn’t find the bottom of the net against Balko’s pressure defense.
Balko (23-2) opened the contest — played in front of a packed house in Goodwell — with a 6-0 run. Forgan didn’t score a basket until there were 26 seconds left in the first quarter. Kaci Hall did the honors for the Lady Bulldogs.
Balko continued its defensive dominance in the second, outscoring Forgan 12-5. Madison Deamin, Jaylee Mays and Kelsi Stevens were the offensive work horses in the first half.
Seven points in the first half was a season-low for Forgan, who hasn’t been that inefficient on offense in recent memory.
So what happened in the first half?
“We weren’t ready to play,” Forgan head coach Brett Trippet said. “I guess that’s my fault as a coach, not getting them ready enough.”
Nobody knows but the girls exactly what Trippet said during halftime, but the Lady Bulldogs came out on fire. Junior Kenzi Taylor and senior Samantha Leisher couldn’t miss in the first few minutes as Forgan cut Balko’s lead to 18-15.
But two missed free throws hurt Forgan, and opened the door to a 7-0 run and 25-15 lead for Balko.
Balko passed around trying to run out the clock after Forgan had brought it to a 34-28 game. The Lady Bulldogs were forced to start fouling, and the Lady Bison weren’t very effective — just 3-for-8 — but it was effective enough to hold on for the win.
Taylor led Forgan with 15 points, Kaci Hall added eight, Leisher and Allison Watson each scored three and Trippet two.
Mays led Balko with 11 points, Deamin seven, Jordie Jett six, Kelsi Stevens and Monica Bennett four apiece and Kyla Cowan one.
Forgan will take on Burlington (17-10) in the first round of the Area playoffs at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Woodward.
A return trip to state will be a bit of a longer road now that Forgan’s in the loser’s bracket.
“That’s OK sometimes,” Trippet said. “Sometimes it’s better to take that long road.”