Quality starts went a long way toward determining the final endings of Pawhuska High School’s Basketball Homecoming matchups with the visiting Caney Valley Trojans last Thursday night.
Pawhuska fell behind, 10-4, in the early stages of the girl’s game and could never quite catch up en route to a 37-33 defeat at Oren Terrill Field House. The loss in the initial outing of 2014 evened the Lady Huskies season record to 3-3.
The Huskies won the boys’ contest against Caney Valley, 56-36, after exploding to a 17-8 first-quarter advantage. PHS put the victory on ice with a 21-10 run in the third period. It was the third win in a row for the Pawhuska boys, who improved to 3-3.
Leading the way for the Huskie triumph was J.R. Young with 18 points and his older brother, Marcus Young, who scored 16. The younger Young, a sophomore, canned a pair of three-pointers in the opening stanza and added two more in the third. Marcus, a senior, provided a trey in both the second and third frames to help fuel the Huskie surge.
"We got on top early but then they came back on us," PHS head coach Monty Unruh said. "When we came out in the second half (with a 28-20 edge), I was still a little concerned because of the way they can shoot threes."
Instead, the Huskies were the ones that got hot from long range. Unruh said the halftime homecoming activities had limited his team’s preparations prior to its breakout third quarter — but that ended up not being a problem.
"You always look better when the ball goes in," the coach said. "We made shots at good times and kept them from getting back in it."
Brandon McLaughlin tallied 20 points for Caney Valley (2-3). The Huskies avenged a 52-26 loss to the Trojans in December at the Sperry Tournament. In that game, PHS was without key personnel due to college-entrance exams and other factors.
The Lady Huskies and Huskies were to host the Blackwell Maroons on Tuesday before traveling to Pawnee for Thursday night showdowns with the Black Bears. On Friday, the Huskies and Lady Huskies are slated to play their Panther rivals at Barnsdall. Girls’ action tips off at 6:30 p.m. for both of the upcoming road events.
A diminished Lady Huskie roster became a factor in the PHS homecoming loss to Caney Valley. Freshman Sidney Sellers fouled out early in the fourth quarter and Haley Malaske was similarly disqualified with two minutes remaining in the contest — leaving the Pawhuska with just five girls to finish the game.
"Tired legs came into play, I think," Lady Huskies’ coach Austin Minshall said. "We were late on our rotation and we gave up some easy turnovers. Those fouls changed a lot."
Kolby McIntosh sparked the Lady Trojans with 18 points and helped the visitors gain control of the contest by establishing herself in the paint. The junior forward hit nine of her 13 free throws as CVHS finished 12 of 28 from the line.
Pawhuska wound up making six of 12 attempts at the charity stripe. Malaske’s 10 points topped Lady Huskie scorers, while sophomore Sarah Phillippi chipped in nine. Genie Herren, another PHS sophomore, hit three-pointers in third and fourth periods. Her second bomb pulled the hosts within a point with less than five minutes to play.
The Lady Trojans continued to cash in at the line and CVHS matched the Lady Huskies with 10 points in the final quarter. Herren wound up with eight Pawhuska points, while Skylar Ward and Haylee Smith had five points apiece for the Lady Trojans.
During halftime of the boys’ game, Malaske was crowned as PHS’s basketball homecoming queen — an honor which had been bestowed to her sister, Tara, a year ago.
Next week, the Pawhuska hoops squads will participate in the Bulldogger Basketball Tournament at Dewey. The Lady Huskies open Tuesday’s tourney slate with a 4:30 p.m. game against the Rejoice Christian School Lady Eagles. A 6 p.m. matchup between the Rejoice boys and PHS Huskies will follow.
Huskies 56, Trojans 36
Caney Valley: 8-12-10-6 — 36
Pawhuska: 17-11-21-7 — 56
Caney Valley Trojans (2-3)
Brandon McLaughlin 20, Dylan Wickham 7, Nick Vaughn 3, Austin Kennedy 2, Matt Bullock 2, Hayden Moses 2. Coach: Donnie Scott.
Pawhuska Huskies (3-3)
J.R. Young 18, Marcus Young 16, Trent Barnett 6, Bryce Wilson 5, Tyler Culver 4, Eli Florence 3, Brandon Hicks 2, Bradley Moreland 2. Coach: Monty Unruh.
Lady Trojans 37, Lady Huskies 33
Caney Valley: 10-8-9-10 — 37
Pawhuska: 6-10-7-10 — 33
Caney Valley Lady Trojans (2-3)
Kolby McIntosh 18, Skylar Ward 5, Haylee Smith 5, Philicia Ballew 4, Hannah Mackey 3, Jordan Hunt 2. Coach:Deric Longen.
Pawhuska Lady Huskies (3-3)
Haley Malaske 10, Sarah Phillippi 9, Genie Herren 8, Andie Sweeden 2, Keylee Kirk 2, Sidney Sellers 2. Coach: Austin Minshall.