Tiebreaker games between the Pawhuska High School basketball squads and their Osage County rivals in Barnsdall will carry major weight Friday night.
In opening-round contests of the state Class 2A Area II-District 3 tournament, the girls’ teams are to meet for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff at Barnsdall’s Joe Gilbert Arena, with the boys’ game to follow around 8.
The Lady Huskies and Lady Panthers each won on their home floors when they played earlier in earlier in the season. Pawhuska’s win came the previous Friday after the Lady Huskies gave up a 9-point first-quarter lead and fell behind until the fourth quarter, when they outscored the Lady Panther — 26 to 9 — to take a 52-38 victory.
Star Sweeden scored 12 points to lead PHS, while Sydney Sellers chipped in eight points and Kaitie Moen added nine. Also scoring nine was sophomore Blake Allen, who knocked down three three-pointers. Allen’s first trey pulled the Lady Huskies within three, the second got the home team in front (30-29) and her third put the visitor’s down by nine with less than fourn minutes remaining.
The Pawhuska girls’ second straight win followed a Thursday triumph, 49-39, over visiting Hominy. In that game, senior center Sydney Sellers scored 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds, made eight steals and blocked three shots as PHS defeated the Lady Bucks, 50-41, in overtime.
Lady Huskies’ head coach Lauri Lee missed Friday’s home finale to attend a game in Morris where her father, longtime principal Jim Ledford, was being honored.
Hominy triumphed in Tuesday’s boys’ contest, 49-38, avenging a December loss to the Huskies in the Pawhuska Tournament. Kolton Reed led the Bucks with 13 points. Tyler Wilson scored 15 for PHS, which also received a long-distance, 12-point effort from sophomore Sam West.
According to a Pawhuska-preferred script, Friday night’s crucial third meeting in this year’s prep basketball series between the Lady Huskies/Huskies and the Barnsdall Lady Panthers/Panthers will set up fourth rounds of the Huskies/Lady Huskies court Battles of the Osage with the Hominy Bucks/Lady Bucks.
District champions, as well as the second-place teams, advance to next week’s Regional tournaments. The seasons end abruptly for the losers in Friday’s contests.
Pawhuska and the Bucks/Lady Bucks were to play again Tuesday night at Hominy for their regular-season finales. The fourth meeting between the Huskies and/or Lady Huskies and their Hominy counterparts could occur four nights later in the 2A District finals at Barnsdall — if the Pawhuska squads get past their Barnsdall hosts in the district’s opening round Friday.