EARLSBORO—The undefeated and top-ranked Class B Earlsboro Wildcats defeated the Dewar Dragons 82-69 Saturday night to capture the Pottawatomie Telephone Company Jim Walling Classic, but it was anything but easy.
Earlsboro struck first, taking a 25-15 lead after the first quarter and senior Elijah Stargell was smack dab in the middle of it. The 5'10” guard scored 13 first-quarter points, but was just getting warmed up.
Dewar was able to cut into the deficit, by a bucket, during the second quarter and had a guard of their own emerge as an elite scorer. Senior 5-9 guard Brock Hicks scored 14 points in the quarter and finished tied with Stargell with 17 points after the first half.
Earlsboro took a 43-35 lead into the half.
“We knew coming in that he (Hicks) could really shoot it,” said Earlsboro head coach Russell Parsons. “He had a great tournament last year.”
Earlsboro maintained the eight-point edge, taking a 60-52 lead into the final quarter.
That's when the game got real interesting.
The Dragons, down 69-64 with 2 ½ minutes left to play, found an open Hicks at the top of the key. Helet let fly the three-ball which hit the rim several times and bounced Earlsboro's way. Stargell then drove the length of the court, hit the layup and was fouled in the act, giving him the old-fashioned three-point play and his Wildcats the tournament title.
The Wildcats outscored Dewar 12-5 in the final two minutes of play to give them a 13-point victory.
Stargell finished with a game-high 42 points. “He (Stargell) is just a great athlete and he works very hard,” said Parsons.
Hicks finished with 31 points for Dewar while Dustin Blood added 13.
Joining Stargell in double-figure scoring for the Wildcats was Ka'Veon Sharp with 11. Trenton Nadeau and Garrett Lean each finished with nine.
Earlsboro improves to 14-0 with the win.