SPORTS

Huskie hoopsters ‘frye’ past Panthers

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

BARNSDALL — One night after getting waylaid by Nowata’s high-theft defense, the Pawhuska Huskies hounded host Barnsdall from the opening tip until the final bell and tracked down a 58-41 basketball victory — taking the last two of their three meetings with the Panthers.

PHS charged out to a 10-0 lead behind steals and fast breaks triggered by senior J.R. Young and junior William Merrell. The opening assault continued as the Huskies built a 13-point advantage (19-6) at the end of a first quarter in which Young accounted for eight points, with junior Ben Gray adding five and Merrell, four.

The Panthers narrowed the deficit to 11 at halftime, 27-16, with nearly half of their point production coming at the free-throw line — where freshman Christian Warford went four-for-four and senior Landon Lanphear made two-of-two.

Barnsdall narrowed the margin to seven points (33-26) following a Warford three-pointer and a pair of free throws by Joe Gott midway through the third period. The Huskies were back up by 14 at the quarter’s end, though, thanks to breakaway baskets by Gray and Merrell and a put-back by “Mighty” J.R. Young.

After the Panthers reduced the lead to single digits with five minutes remaining, the Pawhuskans shifted to another new gear and pulled away down the stretch. Merrell’s quarter-by-quarter point totals were 4-5-4-5 — for a team-high 18. Young and Gray put in 14 points apiece. Gray knocked down a pair of three-pointers. Warford’s game-high 21 points included three treys and 10 free throws.

Pawhuska out-rebounded its humbled hosts, 46 to 34, while grabbing 14 offensive boards — as compared to Barnsdall’s eight. PHS senior center Hayden Henley topped all rebounders with nine but Gray stayed in the same ozone layer with eight. Hardworking Huskies of Mattheu Rector, Bradley Moreland and Young pulled away six boards apiece. For the Panthers, Lanphear finished with nine rebounds and big Bradley Bickford snagged eight.

The PHS boys swept their home-and-away, regular-season games from the Panthers after Barnsdall eclipsed the Huskies by 13 points (61-48) in a December meeting at the Sperry tournament. In a Jan. 4 rematch at Pawhuska, the home team prevailed by seven, 65-58, in its first outing since Mark Frye and Dale Christenson took over on the bench for the Huskies’ jilted head coach, Chad Kills Crow.

With four wins now in the book, the Pawhuska squad was to be off until Thursday when they are to meet the Cleveland Tigers for an 11:30 a.m. “brunch” game in first-round of the Dewey Tournament.

NO WATA, NO FOULA

NOWATA — The hacking, high-pressure defense of Nowata resulted in 38 Pawhuska turnovers as the Ironmen plundered a Thursday night basketbrawl victory, 55-42, over the visiting Huskies.

Junior guard Michael Velasco tallied 18 points and had eight steals for the Ironmen, who jumped out to an 18-6 lead in the first quarter and took a 31-14 advantage into halftime. Sophomore Zen Callahan scored 15, made six steals and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

In Nowata’s feeding frenzy of steals, Cody Smith added five swipes and both Dalton Carter and Jakob Barnes had three. Smith was especially active in the opening period when he scored five points and pulled down four offensive rebounds..

Pawhuska battled back by outscoring the hosts, 18-13, in the third period. Balanced totals for the Huskies showed J.R. Young and William Merrill each with nine points, while Ben Gray had seven and Mattheu Rector put in six. Gray grabbed nine rebounds and Huskie teammates Hayden Henley and Lance Harden grabbed seven apiece.

There was a major discrepancy at the charity line where Nowata was able to convert 11 of 22 attempts. Pawhuska made only one of its nine throws. Huskie Henley departed the game following 93-second fouling flurry of fouls near the end of the third period. After being called for his second infraction of the contest with 1:49 left in the period, Henley drew his third personal with 41 seconds remaining when he was kicked in the torso by a high-flying Callahan. Ten seconds later, he fouled Callahan for his fourth and farewell No. 5 followed with 16 second left in the third.

The Ironmen committed 23 turnovers, 15 fewer than the visitors.

A BEAR FACT: In their Tuesday, Jan. 12, visit to the always-inhospitable gym at Pawnee, the Huskie hoopsters lost to the host Black Bears, 88-47. Not such a bad score, considering the hot-shooting Pani squad was coming off a Saturday win in which they scored 104 against Class A’s two-time defending champions, the Glencoe Panthers — whom the Bears also beat by a 41-point margin.

NOWATA 55, PAWHUSKA 42

Huskies: 6 - 8 - 18 - 10 — 42

Ironmen: 18 - 13 - 13 - 11 — 55

Pawhuska Huskies (3-9) — J.R. Young 8, Will Merrell 8, Mattheu Rector 6, Lance Harden 4, Hayden Henley 2, Ben Gray 7, Nathan Richardson 3, Kody Linde 2, Brian Jeffers 2, Bradley Moreland 0. Coach: Mark Frye.

Nowata Ironmen (6-5) — Michael Velasco 18, Zen Callahan 15, Tanner May 6, Dalton Carter 5, Cody Smith 5, Zach Brock 3, Jakob Barnes 2, Tim Callahan 1, Bryce Hewitt 0. Coach: Gary Hollingshed.

PAWHUSKA 58, BARNSDALL 41

Huskies: 19 - 8 - 13 - 18 — 58

Panthers: 6 - 10 - 10 - 15 — 41

Pawhuska Huskies (4-9) — William Merrell 18, J.R. Young 14, Hayden Henley 6, Mattheu Rector 4, Bradley Moreland 1, Ben Gray 14, Lance Harden 1, Nathan Richardson 1, Kody Linde 0, Brian Jeffers 0. Coach: Mark Frye.

Barnsdall Panthers (6-8) — Christian Warford 21, Joe Gott 10, Bradley Bickford 6, Landon Lanphear 2, Derek Wilson 2, Elijah Gott 0, Trenton Cooper 0. Coach Clif Warford.