ENID — A quality defensive performance carried fourth-ranked Dale to a 44-36 triumph over top-ranked Hooker Friday night in a Class 2A Area 1 winners bracket game at the Enid Event Center.
Dale, 22-7, scored just three points in the third quarter but shut out Hooker to take a 28-19 lead into the final eight minutes.
“We played really good defense in the third quarter,” Dale coach Jeff Edmonson said.
Sophomore Gabe Gouge spearheaded Dale with 16 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter. Gouge had Dale’s only 3-point field goal, that coming in the fourth quarter.
Dallen Forsythe, a sophomore, and Logan Woodruff, a senior, recorded eight points apiece for Dale.
Hooker didn’t have a double-figure scorer.
Dale was 15 of 20 from the line with Brady Johnson and Woodruff going 4 of 4 each. Gouge was 5 of 7.
Hooker was just 3 of 4 from the charity stripe. Hooker didn’t get closer than six points in the last quarter.
“These kids have worked hard all year,” Edmonson said “These seniors went to state two years ago. It’s hard to get there in Class 2A.”
The opening round of the 2A state tournament is scheduled for Thursday. On Sunday, Edmonson and his troops will be informed of their first-round foe and playing locale.
Hooker will have one more chance to earn a state tournament slot in action Saturday at the Enid Event Center.
Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.