Sometimes it’s harder on the psyche to play well and lose by 10 points than it is to play badly and lose by two.
Both are losses, but coaches and players can find things to fix in the poorly played loss. They can’t in the well-played one.
That was the case Friday night. Barnsdall’s boys basketball team defeated Pawhuska 68-58 at Oren Terrill Fieldhouse and Huskies coach Jake Christenson was wondering if his team could have played any better than it did.
Barnsdall made 25 shots from the floor. The Huskies knocked down 23. Both teams made eight free throws. Three-point shots were the difference maker. Barnsdall connected on nine 3-pointers, and Pawhuska didn’t have any.
“We are scoring well enough to win ballgames, but we have got to get stops somehow,” Christenson said. “We were on pace at halftime to score 54 and we ended up with 58. That ought to win you a ballgame most nights.”
Barnsdall is talented on offense, Christenson said.
Barnsdall had three players in double figures. Derek Wilson and Michael Marin scored 19 each, and Christian Warford put in 17. Wilson connected on five treys. Warford had three 3-pointers and Marin put in one triplet.
“They are good enough players that if you run them off the 3-point line they can usually make a little slip pass to put someone else in scoring position. It’s tough to stay close enough to them that the don’t shoot without them going by you,” Christenson said.
Wilson set the pace for Barnsdall by hitting three 3-pointers in the first quarter. Marin added another. Evan Frye had eight first quarter points for the Huskies. Yet Barnsdall led Pawhuska 22-14 after one. Warford hit two treys in the second as Barnsdall outscored Pawhuska 18-13 to hold a 40-27 halftime lead.
The Panthers scored 16 in the third, building a 56-37 lead heading into the fourth.
The Huskies rallied behind Easton Kirk’s 11 fourth-quarter points and cut the Barnsdall lead to 10. Pawhuska couldn’t get any closer, and the final score was 68-68.
Kirk finished with 20 for Pawhuska. Frye added 17 and freshman Isaiah Walker added 10.
Kellyville 73, Pawhuska 58
Kellyville’s pressure defense disrupted Pawhuska’s boys basketball team Jan. 9. The Ponies defeated the Huskies 73-58.
Pawhuska jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter advantage. Once Kellyville made a basket, the Ponies started their press defense and the game started to turn their way.
Kellyville led 17-15 after the first quarter and 36-26 at the half. Pawhuska cut into that 10-point led in the third quarter. The Huskies turned in a 21-point third quarter and held Kellyville to 19 points. PHS trailed 55-47 after three. Kellyville outscored Pawhuska 18-11 to take the 15-point victory.
“We played really well,” Christenson said. “We had too many turnovers. We let the full-court pressure get to us.”
PHS senior Braydon Wilson led the Huskies with 18 points. Easton Kirk and Matthew Miles added 10 each. Evan Frye finished with 9.
Christenson said Kirk had a good game and freshman Isaiah Walker played significant minutes for the Huskies. Walker finished with 6 points.
Tanner Clayton led the Kellyville attack with 21. Jordan White added 16
Pawhuska’s basketball teams will play in the North Country Classic in Tonkawa Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The boys and girls brackets features the high school teams from Mannford, Newkirk, Tonkawa, Pawnee, Guymon, Woodland and Blackwell.
The Huskies will open tournament play at 8 p.m. Thursday against Tonkawa at Tonkawa High School.