Class 4A schools slip past PHS in tourney openers at Sperry

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Class 4A schools slip past PHS in tourney openers at Sperry

SPERRY — Low-octane offenses prevented the Pawhuska High School basketball teams from springing upsets of larger schools in Monday night’s first round of the Exchange Bank Invitational tournament.

The PHS boys’ squad hung tough versus Class 5A Glenpool, but the Warriors used a 8-2 edge in three-point shooting to hold off the Huskies, 43-29.

Earlier in the evening, the Lady Huskies also found basket-making to be a problem, yet still managed to battle ranked 4A foe Berryhill to within nine points, losing 34-25.

Friday losers-bracket contests now await the Pawhuska hoopsters. The local girls will play the non-winner of Tuesday’s Nowata versus Barnsdall matchup in a 4 p.m. Friday game at Sperry. After that, the Huskie boys are to face the Barnsdall Panthers, who were doubled up by the Grove Ridgerunners on Monday, 66-33.

In last contest Monday, Glenpool scored the first five points and never trailed, leading 21-14 at halftime and 26-18 at the three-quarter mark.

Will Merrell scored 17 points for the Huskies after getting 10 of his team’s 17 in the initial half. Ben Gray continued his emergence for PHS by yanking down a game-leading 13 rebounds to go with four points. As a team, Pawhuska finished with 40 rebounds — including 15 on offense — and bettered the Glenpool totals of 27 boards (with six offensive).

The Huskies turned the ball over 28 times, which was 10 more than the Warriors. At the free-throw line, PHS sparkled — hitting five of six attempts. Glenpool found the range with only five of 13 shots from the stripe. Overall, Pawhuska shooters made 11 of 35 field goal tries (31 percent) and the Warriors connected on 15 of their 36 (42 percent). From beyond the arc, however, Glenpool was eight for 18 while the Huskies went two for 14.

Pawhuska’s girls managed just one bucket in the opening quarter against the Lady Chiefs, who came into the contest with a No. 19 ranking in Class 4A. After spotting Berryhill the early 11-point edge, the Lady Huskies outscored their foes, 14-9, over the second period.

In the third stanza, PHS outpointed the Lady Chiefs by a whopping 4 to 2. A little over three minutes remained in the third when a steal by Lady Huskie Mya Hambright led to a three-point bucket from senior Sarah Phillippi that pulled the Pawhuskans within four points, 24-20. But that was as close as it got.

Neither of girls’ squad shot the ball well and both turned it over excessively. No player cracked double digits in scoring as seven points topped Berryhill and Kyleigh Riebel led the Lady Huskies with six points. Despite giving up around three inches and 40 pounds per position, the PHS girls managed to remain competitive with the Lady Chiefs in rebounding.

Free-throw shooting continued to be a problem for Pawhuska’s girls, who connected on five of 19 tries from the line while Berryhill hit 13 of 21.

BERRYHILL 34, PAWHUSKA 25

Lady Chiefs: 13 - 9 - 2 - 10 — 34

Lady Huskies: 2 - 14 - 4 - 5 — 25

Berryhill Lady Chiefs (3-1) — No. 15 7, No. 4 6, No. 21 5, No. 40 5, No. 13 4, No. 14 4, No. 10 3. Coach: Joyce Churchwell.

Pawhuska Lady Huskies (1-5) — Kyleigh Riebel 6, Keylee Kirk 4, Sydney Sellers 4, Sarah Phillippi 3, Mya Hambright 3, Kailee Hambright 2, Sierra Sellers 2, Genie Herren 0, Star Sweeden 0. Coach: Lauri Shatswell.

WARRIORS 43,

HUSKIES 29

Glenpool: 6 - 15 - 5 - 17 — 43

Pawhuska: 3 - 11 - 4 - 11 — 29

Glenpool Warriors ( 1-1) — Caleb Ranford 20, Torrey Harper 3, Tony Phillips, Colton Flame, Derek Hill, Blayne Buchanan, Seth Harjo, Ian O’Guinn, Camryn McCall. Coach: Douglas Winters.

Pawhuska Huskies (1-5) — Will Merrell 17, Mattheu Rector 2, Ben Gray 4, J.R. Young 2, Brian Jeffers 0, Lance Harden 4, Hayden Henley 0, Nathan Richardson 0, Kody Linde 0, Sam West 0, Rocky Murray 0. Coach: Chad Kills Crow.