By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
The top-ranked Forgan Bulldogs began the defense of the state title looking like they are ready for a run at a second one. Forgan dismantled an athletic Hooker Bulldogs team, 66-32.
“Just real excited with the way we came out and competed. I was extremely pleased with the tenacity with which we defended,” said Forgan Bulldogs coach Todd Kerr. “We are going to have to continue to get better there, but it was something I wasn’t sure about. We put a lot of focus there, but we just didn’t know how good we would be there. We flew around and played at a high level for the first one.”
Forgan’s full-court pressure made it tough for Hooker to score as Forgan took a 10-3 lead to end the first quarter. Hooker kept the lead from growing early in the second quarter, but a run late in the quarter pushed the lead to 14 at the break (26-12).
“It was pretty tight in the first half,” said Kerr. “We were able to hit some shots at the end of the half to build a lead, and we capitalized on some turnovers at the start of the third, and really hit our offensive stride in that period.”
Forgan outscored Hooker 23-7 in the third to put the game out of reach at 49-19. Forgan continued to play strong through the fourth outscoring Hooker 17-13.
“We just focused to get ready to play them the best we could, focusing on our game plan,” said Kerr. “The guys were very focused and ready to play. The score doesn’t indicate how good of a team Hooker is. That’s a team that is going to win a lot of games. It was very physical and very competitive; a lot of good athletes on the floor.”
Coach Kerr knows his team has great potential, but wants to make sure his team doesn’t look to far ahead.
“We’re just touching the surface,” said Kerr. “We have some key players that are still out. We’ve got several young players that are going to get better and better. We are going to get better one game at a time. If you look too far into the future, it may not be there.”
Forgan is 1-0 and will host Beaver this Friday. Hooker is now 1-1, and will travel to Texhoma Friday.