In the Forgan pregame locker room, coach Todd Kerr looked around and saw the past, present and future of Bulldog basketball.
Along with his team that was preparing to go play for the Class B state championship, he had players from the 2011 and 2012 championships, as well as some of Forgan’s elementary and middle-school boys.
He saw the passion for Forgan basketball everywhere he looked.
Yet he still can’t quite wrap his head around what his program accomplished Saturday night, when it won its third state title in the last four years, defeating Lookeba-Sickles 77-69 at State Fair Arena.
In a town of about 400, with an average daily attendance of 45 students in ninth through 12th grades, Forgan has become a Class B basketball power.
“To do what these kids have done is really hard for me to wrap my brain around,” Kerr said. “It’s hard for me to fathom. It’s just been unbelievable.”
Kerr’s son, Jace, has been a part of all three titles, and he led the way with 23 points Saturday night, along with 20 from Trevin Lopez.
Chandler Bryer fought a bout with a bleeding nose that wouldn’t stop, but was on the floor to hit three late free throws to help seal the victory. He finished with 15, while Demetrius Alston had 13 points and 10 boards.
“Chandler is gritty and tough and he leads us that way,” Todd Kerr said. “His tenacity is unbelievable.”
Lookeba-Sickles, which got 22 points apiece from Bryson Lierle and Connor Karpe in its first-ever appearance in a state championship game, never trailed by more than 13, but never got closer than seven in the second half.
Jace Kerr, a 6-foot-6 swingman who has signed with Central Oklahoma, added nine rebounds and five assists in his final game as a Forgan Bulldog, representing the school from Beaver County in the Oklahoma panhandle.
The school had to cancel its football season in the fall, because it didn’t have enough players, but basketball is still going strong.
“In Forgan, it’s all we do. We play basketball all the time,” Jace Kerr said. “This was special for me, to get to do it with my dad. Our seniors have only lost seven games in our high school careers. To finish this way, with my dad and these guys – I love these guys. They’re like my brothers.
“And this team isn’t done yet, but what we’ve done is pretty special.”