By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
FORGAN, OKLA. - Three was the magic number for the No.1 Forgan Bulldogs Friday night against county rival Beaver. Four Bulldog players combined to hit seven shots from beyond the arc and convert three traditional 3-point plays. Forgan surged in the third quarter on a 17-5 run that was part of a larger 28-7 run that helped Forgan win going away, 69-36.
Ryan Radcliff (10 points) got the 'three-theme' started early when Tanner Jones hit him driving the lane for the basket and the added made free throw.
"I thought we played well," said Bulldogs coach Todd Kerr. "I knew that coming in, it's Forgan - Beaver and we were going to get their best shot. They made us work on some stuff we need to work on. We're in our second game and we're not going to be where we want to be in our defense even though we had a tremendous game Tuesday. A lot of it was Beaver's execution and them trying to slow the game down to get us chasing them."
Twice in the first half, Beaver was able to battle basket-for-basket with Forgan. Forgan led 7-6 two minutes in, but a Duster turnover was the beginning of a 10-1 run by the Bulldogs to end the first quarter leading 17-7.
Again Beaver traded baskets with Forgan, but could not cut into the lead. Beaver's David Rivera (7 points) scored on consecutive possessions, and Trenton Downing (10 points, 3-5 3-pointers) hit his second three of the quarter with 1:53 left, to cut the Bulldog lead to 11 at 33-22. Forgan answered in the final minute of the half with Chandler Bryer (9 points) and Rhett Radcliff's (27 points) second threes of the night to end the half leading, 39-22.
"I think we are playing a lot better than we were the first game of the season," said Duster coach Devon Thrash. "Our offense is starting to come around, and worked really well in the first half. We moved the ball, got the shots we wanted, and took care of the ball. We are getting through to our guards that we have to control the tempo of the game. It's happening in practice, and carried over too night. We tried to slow it down a little against a very athletic team."
Forgan left no doubt to the final outcome with their third quarter performance on both ends of the floor, much like they had done in their first game. After back-to-back threes by Trevin Lopez (12 points) and Bryer pushed the lead to 24, the Bulldogs hit 8 of 15 free throws to push the lead to 30. Forgan pushed the lead to its largest margin at 38 with just under four minutes left in the game with their fastbreak.
"We work transition over and over," said Kerr. "We think we're at our best when we can get out and push the ball and get our eyes up and see people and share the ball."
Forgan is now 2-0, and will travel to Waynoka Tuesday. Beaver is 1-3 and will host Gruver Tuesday.