PHS squads set for return to action on courts, mats

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
PHS squads set for return to action on courts, mats

Following a well-deserved break for the holidays, Pawhuska High School athletes will be returning to full slates of winter sports action — on the courts and the mats — next week.

On Monday evening, PHS is to host Barnsdall for boys’ and girls’ basketball games at Oren Terrill Fieldhouse. The Lady Huskie varsity squad takes on the Lady Panthers at 6:30 p.m. and the Huskies-Panthers contest will tip off around 8 p.m. When the two schools met recently (Dec. 18) at the Sperry Tournament, Pawhuska’s girls and the Barnsdall boys emerged as winners.

The Lady Huskies have started the current campaign 3-5 under first-year head coach Lauri Shatswell. They placed fifth at Sperry after recording victories in the second and third games. Keylee Kirk was named to the All-Tournament Team. She, Kailee Hambright and Sarah Phillippi are providing solid senior leadership for the improving local squad. Other key players for PHS have been junior Sydney Sellers and sophomores Mya Hambright and Kyleigh Riebel.

In their final outing of the tourney, the Pawhuska boys got a one-point win over the Caney Valley Trojans and improved to 2-6 under their new head coach, Chad Kills Crow. The Huskies have been slowed early-on by some lingering football injuries, but are showing signs of recovery as the New Year approaches. PHS seniors J.R. Young, Hayden Henley, Bradley Moreland and Lance Harden are strongly supported by juniors Mattheu Rector and William Merrell, as well as sophomore Brian Jeffers.

Following a game at Newkirk next Tuesday, the Huskie and Lady Huskie squads are to play at home against Dewey on Friday, Jan. 8. That has been designated as Hall-of-Fame Night. A newly-inducted class to the Pawhuska Basketball Hall of Fame will be introduced during halftime ceremonies at the PHS fieldhouse.

Road contests at Pawnee, Nowata and Barnsdall are slated for Jan. 12, 14 and 15. The PHS squads will take part in the Dewey Basketball Tournament during the week of Jan. 18-23 before returning home Tuesday, Jan. 26, to face Nowata.

Pawhuska wrestlers will be looking toward the Cushing Tournament on Jan. 8-9. Under head coach Brian Edwards, the Huskie matmen won consecutive dual matches leading up to the break. Upcoming duals are set for Tuesday, Jan. 12, at Okmulgee, and Thursday, Jan. 14, in Bartlesville. Sperry hosts the Huskies on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and the 3A District Dual event will be Thursday, Jan. 21, in Pawnee. The Carman Classic tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23, at PHS’s Oren Terrill Field House.

The Huskie mat squad includes returning state tournament qualifiers Levi Youngwolfe and Brycen Swan, as well as several others from a strong junior class — Daniel Nightengale, John BigHorse, Daniel Parks, Warren Graves and Caleb Bruce (who has been recovering from a football-season injury). Senior leaders include Mathew Taft, T.J. Finn and Taylor (It’s not over ‘til I win) Walker. Top PHS sophomores are Dalton Lough and Keinan Cheves. Freshman rising stars of the Huskies include Price Perrier and Ryan Parks. R.J. McCann has been the standout of the Huskie junior high squad.

Edwards recently said he is attempting to schedule some additional home matches.