Bulldogs edge out Regent Prep 49-41, headed to state

The Hooker Bulldogs won the Area championship Friday night and will begin play in the 2A state tournament Thursday. (Shawn Yorks/staff photo)Tate Cathcart dribbles past a Regent Prep defender, Friday night in Enid. (Shawn Yorks/staff photo)
Sports Editor

Look out Oklahoma City, the Hooker Bulldogs are headed your way. Dawson Metcalf scored 22 points and the Bulldogs used strong defense to overcome good outside shooting by Regent Prep, and punched their ticket to the Class 2A state Tournament with a 49-41 win over Regent Prep, Friday night at the Central National Bank Center.

Head coach Todd Kerr has won multiple state championships at Forgan, but taking this Hooker Bulldogs team to The Big House is special.

“It feels incredible,” Kerr said. “I’m just so excited for these kids. I’m excited that they’re going to get this opportunity. It has a special place in my heart because it’s home.
“I got to come home, and we’re getting to do some special things here.”

Metcalf set the tone early, scoring seven of Hooker’s nine first quarter points as the Bulldogs (26-1) led 9-5 after the first quarter.

Karder Neville, Tate Cathcart, Jerod Kerr and Metcalf kept the Bulldogs in a 4-point lead much of the second period, after the Rams cut it to one to start the second. Metcalf and Cathcart pulled the Bulldogs to a 24-17 advantage at the half.

Hooker led by as much as 11 points twice in the third, but pulled it out to a 12-point lead at the end of three thanks to Metcalf, Kerr and Cathcart. But the Rams cut it to two points in the final two minutes, and pressed the Bulldogs, trying to force errors.

They made none.

After Neville made it a 4-point game, Cathcart got the steal and hoop to make it 47-41 and, after Regent Prep turned it over, Metcalf fittingly put the exclamation point on the win.

“Dawson was big tonight, his physicality was too much for them,” Kerr said. “At the end of the game when it gets tight, we go into the game doing what we do best, and that’s guarding people. We guard them, we turn them over, we beat them in transition, and that’s who we are, that’s what we do.”

The Bulldogs open the state tournament Thursday, the opponent, times and locations will be announced Monday.