Forgan punches ticket to state
Saturday, 26 February 2011 12:29
By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
WOODWARD, Okla. — The Forgan Bulldogs have been in some important games this season. But none more important — so far — than Friday night’s Class B Area 1 championship game against Hammon in Woodward’s Boomer Fieldhouse.
After downing Tyrone by 60 to win the regional title, Bulldog fans knew life wouldn’t be that easy the deeper the Dogs went in the playoffs. And No. 7 Hammon proved that point all too clearly.
The Warriors (19-8) played nose-to-nose against Forgan, leading 26-21 at halftime and finding themselves in a 44-44 tie with under three minutes to go. But the Bulldogs took advantage of some missed Hammon opporunities and pulled away for a 55-49 win to punch their ticket to state.
“We’re just awfully excited,” Forgan head coach Todd Kerr said. “We’ve waited a whole year for this night. For us to have to battle and fight and scrap to beat a good Hammon team. It’s awfully rewarding.”
The Bulldogs (24-2) were upset in the area playoffs a year ago after they were a favorite to win the state title.
They had some unfinished business this season. Forgan ran through its schedule — its only two losses were to top 10 5A and 6A teams.
But Hammon was up to the challenge for most of the game.
After Forgan went up 10-8 at the end of the first quarter, the Warriors tied it at 18 and went on an 11-3 run to ed the first half with a 5-point lead.
Forgan took a 31-30 lead on a Rhett Radcliff 3-pointer, then the lead exchanged hands or was tied 11 times before Tayler Eagan hit the second of two free throws to put the Bulldogs up for good.
“I’m so proud of my kids,” Kerr said. “So much heart and so much character.
“Down halftime, our kids, there was never any panic out of those kids. They just battled through. Seemed like the way the ball bounded, it seemed like every loose bal went to (Hammon). We gought and we were able at the end to get a little separation.”
Forgan made nine of 10 free throws down the stretch to account for the final margin.
Rhett Radcliff had 22 points and Ryan Radcliff 16 for Forgan. Clay Walker led Hammon with 16 and Tyler Pinkston scored 10.’
Pairings for the state tournament will be released Sunday following Saturday’s area consolation games.