PHS hoopsters show fortitude in 4A battles at Dewey tourney

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

DEWEY — Despite dropping all three games at last week’s third-annual Dewey Bulldoggers Basketball Tournament, the Pawhuska High School Huskies put up solid efforts against quality, larger-class competition.

The PHS boys team opened play in the tourney Tuesday against the event’s eventual champion, the Tulsa Webster Warriors. Webster’s 5-8 record coming in could not conceal the fact that the Warriors were a state playoff-caliber 4A squad with two Division I college prospects as starters.

Nonetheless, the Huskies waged a dogged first-half battle which left them trailing, 19-15, after the initial period but saw them finish in a 31-31 tie at halftime. Trey Redeagle tallied 13 in the opening quarters, while Kairee Cooks put in 12 and 6-4 freshman phenom David Ward added 10 for Webster.

The Warriors broke free the the Huskies with a 23-6 edge in the third quarter. In the fourth, Pawhuska managed to keep pace en route to the 20-point defeat. PHS made 29 of 56 field-goal attempts compared to 19-for-48 shooting by the Tulsans. Both squads hit six three-pointers. The Warriors held a rebounding advantage with 33 (Ward had 10) to the Huskies 27 (Hayden Henley pulled down six).

In Thursday evening Game Two matchup against Cleveland, the Huskies hooked up in another first-quarter shootout that put them down 10 points, 23-13. The Tigers ended the opening period with a three-point play and capped off a 33-23 halftime score by making a buzzer-beating 45-footer off the glass.

Pawhuska began the final quarter trailing by 16 points (48-32) before launching a comeback run that put the Huskies seven behind with 1 1/2 minutes remaining. Thirty-nine seconds were showing on the clock when Will Merrell snatched an offensive rebound and passed the ball to J.R. Young, who ripped home a three-pointer that made the deficit four points, at 55-51.

Bailey Thompson hit a lay-in off a Redeagle pass with 18 seconds to play and the Huskies were within two, 55-53. A Cleveland made the first free throw in a double-bonus situation but missed the second and Merrell came away with the rebound. With time winding down a long three-point attempt by the Huskies was on line, but short. The Tigers got possession with six seconds left and hit two-for-two at the line to cushion their victory.

PHS sophomore Merrell scored a game-high 17 points while also leading the team with seven rebounds. Redeagle knocked down 12 points , grabbed six rebounds and made five steals and Trent Barnett scored 10 and pulled down five boards. In addition to canning the most exciting nine points of the contest on his trio of treys, Young had five steals and chipped in five rebounds — including three at the Huskies’ shooting end.

The Huskies matched the Tigers in total rebounding with 30 apiece but held a 12-9 edge in offensive boards. Pawhuska made good on 20 of 51 field-goal attempts and went nine for 19 from three-point range. Cleveland shooters connected on 19 field goals out of 42 tried and put through eight of 17 from beyond the arc.

The Tigers converted 10 of 20 free-throw opportunities, while the Huskies went to the line only six times and converted four. Turnovers proved to be a wash in the contest, as PHS lost 10 — one fewer than the Tigers. Cleveland’s 6-4 senior center, Eric Reeves, cleared 14 rebounds to go with nine points, three steals and two blocks. Maverick Ball scored 16 points, including three treys and two free throws that put the Tigers up five with five seconds remaining.

In the seventh-place consolation game, the Huskies were paired up against the tourney’s other winless squad, the host Dewey Bulldoggers —whose losses came versus finalist Lincoln Christian and the second-best home school entry, OKC Storm.

Fifty (as in Hawaii 5-O) personal fouls were called in the Pawhuska-Dewey contest. Only one player fouled out. (Unfortunately for the Huskies, it was senior co-captain Trey Redeagle.) The Doggers shot 23 free throws and made 12 and PHS went to the line 25 times and hit 15. It was the Huskies’ third loss of the season to Dewey.

WARRIORS 72, HUSKIES 51

Pawhuska: 15 ­ - 16 ­ - 6 - ­ 14 ­­ — 51

Webster: 19 - ­ 12 - ­ 23 -­ 18 ­­ —72

Pawhuska Huskies (5­-10) ­­ — Trey Redeagle 19, Trent Barnett 9, J.R. Young 8, Hayden Henley 7, William Merrell 3, Bailey Thompson 3, Lance Harden 2, Brandon Hicks 0, Tristan Tucker 0. Coach: Monty Unruh.

Tulsa Daniel Webster Warriors (6-­8) ­­ — Kairee Cooks 29, David Ward 15, Shane Davis 11, Darion Brown 7, Tyreek Shaw 5, Greg Owens 3, Jordan Alexander 1, Tyran Harrison­Short 0, Baron Davis 0. Coach: Scott Bowman.

TIGERS 58, HUSKIES 53

Pawhuska: 13 - 10 - 9 - 21 — 53

Cleveland: 23 - 10 - 15 - 10 — 58

Pawhuska Huskies (5-11) — William Merrell 17, Trey Redeagle 12, Trent Barnett 10, J.R. Young 9, Hayden Henley 0, Lance Harden 0, Bailey Thompson 3, Tucker Helmer 2. Coach: Monty Unruh.

Cleveland Tigers (8-7) — Maverick Ball 16, Caden Krotzer 10, Eric Reeves 9, Ty Smith 8, Hayden Glasgow 6, Desmond Freeman 4, Jaden Brewer 3, Jake Moore 2, Jaren Ward 0. Coach: Daniel Brimmer.

Dewey 69, Pawhuska 45

Pawhuska: 8 - 10 - 15 - 12 — 45

Dewey: 14 - 24 - 18 - 13 — 69

Dewey Bulldoggers (8-8) — Trenton Anderson 16, Hunter Hines 10, Drew Miller 9, Spencer Hayes 9, Takoda Ruble 8, Blake Baughman 6, Josh Gomez 3, Chase Kirby 3, Jarret Dillsaver 2, Brian Black 2, Kris Romack 1. Coach: Lance Knight.

Pawhuska Huskies (5-12) — Trent Barnett 9, J.R. Young 9, Bailey Thompson 9, William Merrell 8, Trey Redeagle 6, Lance Harden 3, Hayden Henley 1. Coach: Monty Unruh.