Originally Published: Mar 4, 2011 10:58 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge

Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Top-ranked Forgan jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 54-32 victory over the Paden Pirates Friday to advance to the Class B State Final.


Paden took a quick lead early, making the game’s first two shots. Senior Abe Esters knocked down a long two and Austin Cheatwood scored on a fast break, but Forgan roared back.


The Bulldogs scored 10 consecutive points, capped off by back-to-back driving layups from Ryan Radcliff to take a 10-4 lead.


Cheatwood knocked down a long three to stop the bleeding, but the Bulldogs scored five quick points to push the lead to 15-7. The Pirates strung together a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 17-14, but a Tanner Jones buzzer-beater pushed it back to five points.


The floor fell out for Paden in the second quarter, with no answer for the Bulldogs’ athleticism. Forgan scored 11-unanswered points to open the second quarter, taking a 16-point lead early. The Pirates’ only points came in the closing minutes of the quarter, a three-pointer from Wade Bilyeu, but Forgan went into halftime leading 36-17.


The Bulldogs continued to build their lead in the third quarter, outscoring Paden 17-5 and putting the game out of reach.


Radcliff led all scorers with 23 points, with Jace Kerr adding 13 points and brother Rhett Ratcliff contributing 11 points.


Esters set the pace for Paden with nine, while Cheatwood scored seven and Bilyeu chipped in six.


Forgan will now square off with Graham at 8:30 p.m. Saturday for the Class B Gold Ball.