By Phil Sandoval
Guymon Daily Herald
HOOKER, OKLA. — When challenged the big guys responded.
The turnaround is not complete, but Hooker boys head coach Brad Coffman felt better about the production shown by the Bulldogs forwards against Tyrone Tuesday night.
“It’s still lacking to me a little bit,” he said in summing up a 70-46 win.
Still, there was enough offense that came from up front to please Coffman. For now.
Payson Slater, one of the Bulldogs forwards, led all scorers with 16 points. Coffman said his play was a key component to the victory
“Slater was picking up that slack on the inside. He’s been rebounding like crazy. He did that in the (Hugoton) tournament. He’s playing real for us as a freshman.”
It figured Slater scored the basket that put Hooker up for good.
That came early in the game. Real early.
The freshman’s bucket at the 6:37 mark of the first quarter snapped the contest’s only tie.
Hooker distanced themselves quickly afterwards by scoring 14 of the next 16 points.
Yet, there was concern on the Bulldogs bench despite holding a 25-11 lead at the quarter break.
Throughout the year Tyrone has shown they are the kind of team who can make up big deficits in a hurry.
“We didn’t allow them to have many 3’s,”Coffman said. “They rely so much on penetrating and pitching back to the guards. That was our big key.”
As a team, the Bobcat guards were held to a combined 30 points. Adan Lomas scored 11. Tyler Lai, who added 10, was Tyrone’s only other player to have more than 9 points.
To compound Tyrone’s problems Bobcat center Jacob Williams also had an off night. He was held to single digits and fouled out the game early in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Hooker continued to its offensive push.
They outscored the Bobcats 21-13 in the following period to take a comfortable 46-24 advantage at the half. Hooker’s margin grew to 22 points at the end of the third quarter when they held Tyrone to just 8 points in the period.
Hooker’s last opponent before the holiday break - Stratford, Texas on Friday- will test the team’s skills, Coffman said. “They’ll be big, athletic and physical. We’ll see how we handle it.”