By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
FORGAN, OKLA.—The fifth-ranked Balko Lady Bison (9-0) used opportunistic defensive play in the full-court press and in the half-court game, while the Forgan Lady Bulldogs (4-5) struggled to get shots to fall in their first action back from the Christmas break. Balko stayed undefeated with a 53-32 win over the No.15 Lady Bulldogs.
“We started out a little rusty, had some shots that didn’t go,” said Balko coach Mitch Cowan. “One thing we had to work really hard at and emphasize was blocking out and rebounding because of how well Forgan rebounds. I was pretty happy.”
Balko’s Jaylee Mays, who finished with a game-high 17 points, led the Lady Bison transition offense, and helped to create a lot of those opportunities at the defensive end. Rylee Stockton and Danielle Gentry hit back-to-back threes as well to help Balko jump out to a 14-3 lead. Forgan cut the lead back to seven early in the second quarter, but still trailed by nine at the break (22-13).
Lindsey Trippet’s three-point play with 5:06 left in the third quarter cut the Lady Bison lead to seven once again, but a 12-2 run by Balko put the Lady Bulldogs in a 39-22 hole heading to the fourth quarter. The poor shooting continued for Forgan, and Balko was able to win by 21.
“I thought we competed hard on game long. Defensively, we did a good job,” said Forgan coach Brett Trippet. “We just couldn’t score. We couldn’t send too many to the offensive boards. We had to keep at least two out to keep Mays from leaking out in transition. They made us take shot we didn’t do a good job of making.”
Forgan finished the game 11 of 30 from 2-point range, and made only 1 of 20 attempts from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Balko was 16 of 37 with plenty of points in the paint, and made 5 of their 13 long range attempts.
Balko’s Mays finished 6 of 14 from the field and 4 of 7 from the line. Madison Dearmin scored 14, and was 5 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
Forgan’s Kenzi Taylor was kept in check most of the game, but still managed to score nine in the fourth quarter to finish with 15, and was held to 6 of 19 shooting. Lindsey Trippet was 4 of 9 from the field and 3 of 3 from the line to finish with 11.