But then winning the regional tournament wasn’t easy either. Still the Bulldogs did. it.
Coach Rick Bull’s Bulldogs upset fifth ranked Oklahoma City Northwest Classen 74-69 on Saturday night to win the regional title. It marked the first time all season, the Knights had lost a game on their home floor.
The victory propelled the Bulldogs to the winner’s area where they will play third ranked Midwest City Carl Albert on Friday at Edmond Memorial High School. Tip off will be at 6:30 p.m.
A win over the Titans will move the Bulldogs into the state tournament. A loss would send Altus to the loser’s bracket final where they would play winner of Oklahoma City Southeast Airdrome. That game would bat 6:30 p.m. Saturday also at Edmond.
In the early going against Northwest, it didn’t look good for the Bulldogs who trailed by as much as 15 points in the first half.
That’s when Bull employed a 1-3-1 trapping defense and that seemed to bother the Knights who began committing turnovers.
But Derrick Bull, who scored 22 of his team leading 26 points in the second half, triggered a rally and by the early portion of the fourth quarter, Altus led by 15 points.
Northwest came back but could not draw any closer than five points. Free throws by Braden Warren gave the Bulldogs a 73-66 with 25 seconds left and that was too much for the Knights to overcome.
Bull had a career high 12 rebounds. Eric Sanders came off the bench and scored 11 points.
The regional title had to of surprised many through the state. Altus went into the regional on downward note, losing five of their last six games. The Bulldogs defeated Harrah in the opening round on Friday before winning the regional final.
But despite the losses toward the end of the regular season, Bull (Rick) said he wasn’t surprised that his team won the regional.
“No not really,” Bull said. “We were in a stretch of three years we would have had a shot if we get win the first game. A lot of pressure is off after you win that first game.”
The Bulldogs will face a talented Carl Albert team. who has only four losses on the year all to top notch ballclubs. The Titans have lost once to Jenks the top ranked team in 6A, to Tulsa Union the No. 4 ranked team in 6A and twice to Guthrie the top ranked team in Class 5A.
Altus is ranked 13th according OK. Rankings.
Carl Albert features 6-4 Harrison Dupont considered to be division I prospect. He is used as both an inside and outside player.