Huskies drop 3rd straight, will play again Friday night

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Huskies drop 3rd straight, will play again Friday night

NOWATA — Holding the highly-regarded Sperry Pirates to their lowest scoring total of the season was of little consolation for the Pawhuska Huskies, who had a fairly dismal performance in Monday’s opening round of the Nowata Invitational high school basketball tournament.

After back-to-back home losses Friday and Saturday, the PHS boys team struggled through the final 3 1/2 quarters against the Pirates — who wound up winning by a landslide score of 76-28. (In three previous season outings, Sperry put up 104 points in its opener against Barnsdall, then 91 and 93, respectively, at Dewey and Chelsea.)

Pawhuska was tied with the Pirates, 8-8, after five minutes on the Nowata hardwoods. From that point onward, the Huskies averaged less than one point per minute while their running-gunning foes stole, rebounded and scored with impunity. PHS was led in scoring by junior Mattheu Rector, who tallied 10.

The Huskies will try again Friday to win their first-ever game under new head coach Chad Kills Crow, a former PHS player who is back at his alma mater after coaching several collegiate season at Haskell University. Pawhuska’s opponent in an 8:30 p.m. consolation contest was to be the loser of Tuesday’s Nowata-Chelsea matchup.

In Friday’s home contest, the visiting Perry Maroons scored all 13 of their points from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. The Huskies had reduced a longstanding double-digit deficit down to four, 48-44, with three minutes remaining — then failed to score again.

Perry’s 11-point win was largely due to a disparity in foul calls. Overall, Perry’s boys were successful on 24 of 41 attempts at the line while the Huskies shot 14 free throws, making seven.

Both of the boys’ teams struggled with their shooting. The Huskies made 17 of 45 attempts from the field and three-for-nine at bonus range. The Maroons’ 14-for-48 on field goals included three-of-10 for treys. Rebounds were even at 27 for each squad.

Rector led the Pawhuska effort with 10 points and six rebounds — including four made at the offensive end. Seniors Lance Harden and Hayden Henley scored six points apiece and combined for seven rebounds (four offensive) in the center position. Harden missed the last five minutes after he was whistled for his fifth foul.

The late Huskie surge started 25 seconds into the final period when junior Ben Gray put in a driving layup 25 seconds into the final quarter. Buckets by sophomore Brian Jeffers and Henley pulled Pawhuska within nine before Henley forced a turnover to keep the Huskies rolling.

Four minutes were left when a Jeffers’ steal led to a put-back by Rector. Will Merrell gained another possession by drawing a charge. After a Rector three-pointer and a pair of Perry free throws, Merrell hit a high-arcing trey to get the Huskies within four, 48-44.

At Oren Terrill Field House last Thursday night, Pawhuska’s season opener was marred by a rash of home turnovers in an 11-point loss to the Newkirk Tigers, 55-44. Merrell topped the Huskie scoring with 13 points.

“We out-shot them both nights,” Kills Crow said of his squad’s first two outings. “And, we didn’t even shoot as well as we should have.”

PIRATES 79, HUSKIES 28

Pawhuska: 12 - 7 - 4 - 5 — 28

Sperry: 23 - 20 - 16 - 17 — 76

Pawhuska Huskies (0-3) — Mattheu Rector 10, Will Merrell 6, Brian Jeffers 4, Hayden Henley 2, J.R. Young 0, Lance Harden 0, Ben Gray 2, Ben West 3, Nathan Richardson 2, Bradley Moreland 0, Braydon Wilson 0, Tucker Helmer 0, Kody Linde 0. Head coach: Chad Kills Crow.

Sperry Pirates (4-0) — Logan Mullins 16, Jace Pratt 15, Colton Simmons 12, Grant Pissachubbie 11, JaShima Deberry 5, Kyle Jobe 3, Dontre Goff 3, Ray Baker 3, Blake Hawkins 3, Joe Thoendal 3, Austin Lawrence 2. Head coach: Lance Kight.

MAROONS 55, HUSKIES 44

Perry: 13 - 9 - 20 - 13 — 55

Pawhuska: 5 - 8 - 17 - 14 — 44

Perry Maroon (1-1) — Sam Chambers 15, Ty Walker 12, Bakker Shields 11, Trey Layne 9, Kamryn Williams 4, Dawson Padia 3, Brayden Baird 1. Head coach: Brandon Hight.

Pawhuska Huskies (0-2) — Mattheu Rector 10, Brian Jeffers 7, Lance Harden 6, Will Merrell 5, James Young 4, Hayden Henley 6, Bradley Moreland 2, Nathan Richardson 2, Ben Gray 2, Tucker Helmer 0, Kody Linde 0. Head coach: Chad Kills Crow.

TIGERS 44, HUSKIES 28

Newkirk: 13 - 14 - 7 - 10 — 44

Pawhuska: 7 - 3 - 10 - 8 — 28

Newkirk Tigers (1-0) — Vap 13, Bergman 12, R. Johnson 11, Rusk 5, Stopp 2, Rowe 1. Head coach: Rob Lancaster.

Pawhuska Huskies (0-1) — Will Merrell 13, Lance Harden 6, J.R. Young 4, Brian Jeffers 2, Mattheu Rector 1, Hayden Henley 1, Tucker Helmer 1, Bradley Moreland 0, Nathan Richardson 0, Ben Gray 0. Head coach: Chad Kills Crow.