After a lackluster victory on the road at Newkirk on Jan. 2, Pawhuska boys basketball coach Jake Christenson challenged his team to play with more heart and conviction.
At home against Dewey Friday night, the Pawhuska boys played their hearts out, but couldn’t overcome Dewey’s first quarter 3-point barrage. The Bulldoggers held a 22-8 first quarter lead, but only won by two, 64-62. On Jan. 2, the Huskies didn’t play with any energy, Christenson said. It all changed Friday.
“Our biggest speech before the game was ‘Are we going to dig down and fight,’” Christenson said. “We want to leave no doubt to everyone on that other team and everyone in the stands that we played our hardest. I don’t think anyone can argue that. We were down 22 points in the third quarter and made it a two-point game.”
The Huskies ran three different defenses Friday night to put the clamps on Dewey’s offensive juggernaut.
“The thing that is great is the one that ended up kind of bailing us out is something we haven’t done in awhile. It’s nice to have kids that are intelligent enough for you to break something out that you did a month ago and they can still run it,” he said.
The Huskies played at Kellyville Tuesday night. See the Journal-Capital’s website for results of that game. They will host Barnsdall on Friday night. The girls will play at 6:30 p.m., with the boys game starting after the girls game is completed.
Dewey 64, Pawhuska 62
Dewey hit six 3-pointers and a couple of 2-pointers in the first quarter to jump out to a commanding lead. Dewey’s Blayz Rippy was blazing beyond the arc with four of Dewey’s six treys. The Huskies only scored once from the field in the first when Braydon Wilson hit a 3-pointer. The rest of the Huskies first-quarter points came from the charity stripe.
Dewey’s long-range bombers cooled off after the torrid first quarter. The Bulldogs scored just two more treys in the game. Rippy made both of those.
Pawhuska narrowed the gap to 12 by halftime, outscoring Dewey, 14-12, in the second quarter. In the third, Dewey’s advantage grew to 22 before the Huskies started closing the gap. Still, the Bulldogs maintained a healthy 51-36 advantage as the final stanza started.
Evan Frye and Wilson paced the Huskies fourth quarter rally. Frye and Wilson combined for 16 fourth-quarter points. The Huskies trailed by 5 with less than 10-seconds left. J.T. Waddle connected on a trey as time expired to make the final score 64-62.
Four Dewey players ended the game in double figures. Rippy lead all scorers with 20, including six 3-pointers. Hayden Thornton added 14, while Colby Henley and Kameron Hayes added 12 and 10, respectively.
The Huskies also had four players in double figures .Kirk paced the attack with 19. Wilson contributed 14. Evan Frye and J.T. Waddle chipped in 12 and 10.
Pawhuska 57, Newkirk 53
The Pawhuska boys basketball team picked up its sixth win this season with a 57-53 victory over Newkirk at the Tigers gym on Tuesday.
Christenson said the score remained close throughout the game. Pawhuska led by as many as eight in the final two quarters, but Newkirk kept cutting into the lead.
“We were pretty flat throughout the game,” Christenson said. “Our intensity just wasn’t where we needed it to be.”
The Huskies continued to use the press defense they unveiled on Dec. 16 in the third-place game of the Pawhuska Invitational Tournament.
“You would think that would’ve gotten our blood pumping a little bit,” he said.
Christenson said he didn’t know if the team was looking ahead to Friday night’s home game against Dewey or remembered they beat Newkirk by 30 in summer league play.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “We weren’t aggressive offensively. It seemed like the players were waiting for someone else to lake the play.”
Christenson said all the Huskies returned to Pawhuska on the team bus, and participated in conditioning drills after returning to Oren Terrill Fieldhouse.
Easton Kirk led the Huskies with 14 points. Brayden Wilson added 13 and Evan Frye chipped in 12.