BARNSDALL — A night after enduring brutal road defeats versus arch-rival Pawnee, the Pawhuska High School basketball squads found solace Friday against their Osage County neighbors, the Barnsdall Panthers.
In the girls’ contest, the Lady Huskies (4-6) snapped a three-game losing streak by building a 15-point halftime lead and then holding off the Lady Panthers for a 44-33 win. Pawhuska completed the sweep by pulling away from the Barnsdall boys in the second quarter and burying them in the third en route to a 63-26 triumph.
PHS senior Eli Florence exploded for 20 points for the Huskies. Florence came off the bench to tally seven in the third quarter and add 11 more in a three-minute span of the fourth. Trey Redeagle chipped in nine points for Pawhuska, while J.R. Young and Trent Barnett were good for seven apiece.
"I liked how we played, especially coming off that game at Pawnee," said Monty Unruh, the coach of the Huskies.
Pawhuska improved to 5-5 on the year following an 0-3 start and two losses to start the week. After a 55-46 home defeat Tuesday versus Blackwell, the Huskies ran into a buzz-saw Thursday at Pawnee, where they suffered a humiliating 86-22 defeat to the Black Bears.
"Pawnee shot the ball better than any team I have ever seen," the PHS coach said, noting that the Class 2A squad connected on 58 percent of its field-goal attempts — including a phenomenal 55 percent from three-point range. "And, it didn’t drop off when they brought in their second and third teams."
Against Barnsdall, the Huskies moved out to a 9-7 edge in the first quarter at Barnsdall. The visitors expanded an eight-point (22-14) halftime advantage to a 41-19 lead at the end of the third stanza. PHS was given steady boosts of energy from seniors Tyler Culver and Bryce Wilson, as well as by dependable reserve Daniel Bogney.
"The game was called pretty tight in the first half, but we were finally able to get into a flow in the third quarter," Unruh said.
For the Panthers, Tyler Swift knocked down nine points and Tyler Swift added seven.
Last Tuesday at Pawhuska, the Huskies kept even with the Maroons in the first half before straying off course in the second.
"Once they got a little ahead, it was like we were trying to get it all back at once," the PHS coach said.
In the girls’ contest at Barnsdall, Pawhuska coach Austin Minshall received strong efforts from his entire seven-player roster. The Lady Huskies never trailed after going up, 6-5, with a minute to play in the opening quarter when Andie Sweeden made a steal and passed to Haley Malaske for a lay-up.
Sparked by a strong defensive effort in the middle by freshman Sydney Sellers, the Lady Huskies were able to score 10 straight points during the second period and move in front by 15 at halftime, 28-13.
After being outscored 8-2 in the third quarter, PHS barely managed to stave off a home rally in the fourth. The Lady Huskies watched a nine-point lead whittled down to a bucket (30-28) with 6:45 remaining as the Lady Panthers went on a seven-point run. But, steals by Sweeden and Kirk led to back-to-back lay-ins by sophomore Genie Herren that pushed Pawhuska in front by six.
Free throws by Skyla Graham and Alyssa Babb of the Lady Panthers got the lead down back down to three, but the Lady Huskies put the game away at the line — where they hit nine of 12 attempts in the fourth period. On the night, Pawhuska made 11 of 16 at the charity stripe while Barnsdall finished 14 for 22.
"Your girls played hard," Panther coach Joe Gilbert told Minshall afterward. "They wanted it more than ours did tonight."
The Lady Huskies survived some critical foul problems. Sophomore star Kirk picked up her third personal three minutes before halftime and junior floor general Sweeden got called for her fourth infraction three minutes into the third period. Also, senior Malaske carried four personals over the final seven minutes of the contest.
"They all showed good composure by staying on the floor," Minshall said of his players. "Our emphasis on conditioning also played a factor, I think."
Herren scored 12 points to lead the Lady Huskies, while Kirk and Malaske netted 11 apiece. Leading the Barnsdall scoring was Graham, a junior transfer from Pawhuska who had 10 points — all in the second half. MacKaylon McCabe had nine points for the Lady Panthers and Ciera McCabe added seven.
Earlier in the week, the Lady Huskies dropped a 55-34 decision to Blackwell and were on the short end of a 44-20 score at Pawnee.
The PHS teams were to open play Tuesday in the Bulldoggers Basketball Tournament at Dewey with games against Rejoice Christian School of Owasso. The Lady Huskies were to face the RCS Lady Eagles (3-7) at 4:30 p.m. and the Pawhuska boys were to meet the Rejoice Eagles (6-4) at 6 p.m.
HUSKIES 63, PANTHERS 26
Pawhuska: 9 - 13 - 19 - 22 — 63
Barnsdall: 7 - 7 - 5 - 9 — 28
Pawhuska Huskies ( 5-5) — Eli Florence 20, Trey Redeagle 9, Trent Barnett 7, J.R. Young 7, Daniel Bogney 4, Tyler Culver 3, Bryce Wilson 3, Hayden Henley 3, Brandon Hicks 3, Bailey Thomas 2, Matthew Rector 2. Coach: Monty Unruh.
Barnsdall Panthers (3-10) — Spencer Wilson 9, Trenton Cooper 7, Hunter Hansen 5, Joe Gott 3, Cody Klutts 3, Tyler Swift 2, Tyler Wilson 2. Coach: Jake Christenson.
Lady Huskies 43,Lady Panthers 33
Pawhuska: 8 - 20 - 2 - 13 — 43
Barnsdall: 5 - 8 - 8 - 12 — 33
Pawhuska Lady Huskies (4-6) — Genie Herren 12, Haley Malaske 11, Keylee Kirk 11, Sidney Sellers 3, Andie Sweeden 2, Sarah Phillippi 4, Mary Jo Upchurch 0. Coach: Austin Minshall.
Barnsdall Lady Panthers (7-6) — Skyla Graham 10, MacKaylan McCabe 9, Ciera McCabe 7, Alyssa Babb 4, Brandi Gay 2, LaKeesha LeFlore 1, Courtney Swift 0. Coach: Joe Gilbert.