Leader & Times
By JASON EPP
FORGAN, OKLA. - The Forgan Lady Bulldogs answered the Beaver Lady Duster's 9-0 run in the third quarter with a 20-0 run that put Forgan up for good. Kenzi Taylor scored 10 of her game-high 23 during that run, and the Lady Bulldogs held on for a 41-36 victory in game 1 of the 2011 edition of the 'Six-Mile War'.
"I didn't think we played well at all tonight," said Lady Bulldogs coach Brett Trippet. "We had one spell where we were able to press and picked up our intensity in that one spurt. It got us the lead, but we didn't play very well the rest of the game."
Beaver, still trying to find their way with only one returning starter from last year's team, looked to have found their stride with a 9-2 run late in the second quarter that gave the Lady Dusters a 17-16 edge at the break. Another 9-2 stretch to start the second half put Beaver up 26-18 with 5:27 left in the third quarter.
That's when the wheels fell off.
Beaver went cold from the field, and missed 9 out of their next 10 free throws as well. More than 10 minutes ran off the game clock before Beaver made another field goal. At that point they trailed, 38-29.
"Right now it's just a continuing theme," said Lady Dusters coach Casey Jones. "We'll play competitive and play close, but then we'll have a few breakdowns and fall behind. It's pretty painful right now, but I can see improvements. They're awful down right now. We missed too many free throws. You're not going to win a close one like that."
Beaver was able to cut the Lady Bulldog lead to four, but that's as close as they were able to get. Forgan helped by only making 4 of 10 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
"Defensively, we have to get a lot better," said Trippet. "We're still young and we're going to get a lot better. We can't get in foul trouble right now. We've always played defense aggressive, but we've had to back off a little. Hopefully over time we can change that, and not have to be so half-court oriented and pick it up a little more."
Forgan took an early lead in the matchup at 7-3, and led 9-5 at the end of the first quarter. Beaver trailed 12-8 early in the second quarter until Shelby Brown (12 points, 2-6 from 3-point range) and Jacinda Balderrama (16 points, three 3s) combined to put the Lady Dusters up 17-14 with less than a minute left in the half.
"We need to get on a winning track someway," said Jones. "We're just going to have to pick it up and keep improving every day in practice. We mixed up the press a little tonight. In the past I would be stubborn and stay in it and try to win the plus-minus game, but this year's squad is just not as good at it yet. So we backed out of it and just used it in spurts; and did a good job when we did use it. I'm pleased with that, and the movement we have. "
Forgan finished the game 14 of 29 from two-point range, 1 of 8 from three-point range, and 10 of 20 from the free throw line. Beaver was 10 of 40 from the field, 4 of 19 beyond the arc, and only 4 of 14 from the free throw line.
Forgan is now 1-1, and will travel to Waynoka next Tuesday. Beaver is 0-4, and will host Gruver, Texas next Tuesday.