Huskies top Ironmen in basketball homecoming

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The Pawhuska Huskies never relinquished the lead in Tuesday’s high school homecoming basketball victory, 58-54, over the late-charging Nowata Ironmen.

Bradley Moreland’s lay-in off a feed from Huskie teammate Hayden Henley provided the initial points in the contest and, just 1:39 after the opening tipoff, Moreland passed to J.R. Young for the basket that put Pawhuska ahead to stay (4-2).

Pawhuska led by two (10-8) after a quarter and three (23-20) at the half, then went up by dozen, 39-27, entering the fourth period. The Ironmen got back within a point, 53-52, on a three-pointer with 35 seconds left. The Huskies padded their advantage on free throws by Ben Gray, Mattheu Rector and Tyler Wilson, and Nathan Richardson’s clutch rebounding (plus a tactical missed shot) insured the PHS win.

The triumph was the first for a Pawhuska boys’ squad over Nowata since 2010.

The Huskies’ offensive output increased progressively — from 10 first-quarter points to 13 in the second, 16 for the third and 19 during the fourth. The Ironmen doubled their point production of the first three periods by adding 27 in the fourth. The top scorer for the Pawhuska was Young, who put through 16 points before fouling out with 4:39 remaining in the contest. Gray finished with 11 points and five rebounds, while Richardson had six points and nine boards.

“Some guys really step up for us, especially down the stretch,” PHS head coach Mark Frye said. “We needed every rebound and every free throw to get the win.”

In addition to losing Young with fouls, the Huskies were without theservices of starter William Merrell, who missed the game due to illness.

Pawhuska shot exceptionally well from the field, hitting 23 of 40 attempts. The locals outrebounded Nowata, 37 to 28, although Nowata held a 16-9 edge on the offensive boards. Callahan racked up 17 points for Nowata and hit three of the Ironmen’s seven three-pointers. Pawhuska had no treys, but knocked down 14 of 26 free throws compared to the visitors’ 4-of-16 accuracy from the line.

Although the final turnover numbers showed PHS with 25 and Nowata with 22, Frye noted one of the Huskies’ keys to the victory was their protecting of the ball.

“When we played them (Jan. 14) at Nowata, we gave up nearly 50 fast-break points,” the coach said. “We cut the turnovers way down and were making shots.”

Three nights later on the road in Perry, Merrell returned to the PHS lineup — with a vengeance. The junior tallied 21 points (including a trio of three-pointers) as the Huskies went from a 7-4 deficit at the end of the first quarter to grab a four-point lead (22-18) athalftime. The visiting Pawhuskans broke open the game by outpointing the Maroon, 26-12, in the third period on their way to a 62-50 triumph.

During the initial week of this season, the Perry boys had hung a 62-50 home loss on the Huskies.

PHS’ boys succumbed to the athleticism of the Hominy Bucks in Saturday night’s makeup of a November game that was rescheduled due to Hominy’s three-game run in the state football playoffs. The Huskies held a 10-6 first-quarter lead and maintained a 21-16 edge at intermission. In the middle of the third period, the Bucks reeled off 14 straight points to take control of the gme.

Hominy missed all six of its first-quarter free throws and its first nine of the contest. After tying the score with 4:30 left in the third, the Bucks went on a tear at the charity stripe, making 19 of the next 22 attempts. Kolten Reed made nine-of-nine in the last half and scored a game-high 21 points. He also topped all rebounders with nine, while HHS teammate Zaven Collins pulled down eight.

Pawhuska nearly matched Hominy’s 28 rebound total as the Huskies grabbed 27, including 12 at the offensive end of the floor (while the Bucks had five). Ben Gray had five boards (four offensive) and scored eight points for PHS. Tyler Wilson led the hosts in scoring, with 13 points. Hayden Henley scored four. He and Brian Jeffers both pulled down four rebounds. The Huskies hit a dismal 2-of-10 free throws.

Following their Monday night game at Dewey — where they lost, 74-68, to the Bulldoggers — the Huskies will take a breather before returning to action Tuesday night in the regular-season home finale against the currently-unbeaten (at 17-0) and No. 2-state ranked Pawnee Black Bears. For the regular-season schedule is to wrap up a week later (Feb. 16) with a rematch at Hominy.

NOTE: Class 2A basketball district assignments are to be released on Thursday.


Ironmen: 8 - 12 - 7 - 27 — 54

Huskies: 10 - 13 - 16 - 19 — 58

Nowata Ironmen (8-7) — Zen Callahan 17, Dalton Carter 11, Cody Smith 11, Michael Velasco 8, Tanner May 3, Jakob Barnes 2, Tim Callahan 2, Zach Brock 0. Coach: Gary Hollingshed.

Pawhuska Huskies (6-12) — J.R. Young 16, Hayden Henley 5, Tyler Wilson 5, Bradley Moreland 4, Mattheu Rector 4, Ben Gray 11, Lance Harden 4, Nathan Richardson 6, Brian Jeffers 2, Tucker Helmer 1, Braydon Wilson 0. Coach: Mark Frye.


Huskies: 4 - 18 - 26 - 14 — 62

Maroons: 7 - 11 - 12 - 20 — 50

Pawhuska Huskies (7-12) — William Merrell 21, Hayden Henley 10, J.R. Young 9, Tyler Wilson 5, Bradley Moreland 4, Tucker Helmer 4, Mattheu Rector 3, Nathan Richardson 3, Ben Gray 2, Brian Jeffers 1. Perry Maroons (5-13).


Hominy: 6 - 10 - 15 - 20 — 51

Pawhuska: 10 - 11 - 4 - 12 — 37

Hominy Bucks (12-4) — Kolten Reed 21, Armony Lowery 9, Logan Evans 9, Dakota Doyle 5, Edward Coon 3, Seth Hensley 0. Coach: Mike Hampton.

Pawhuska Huskies (7-13) — Tyler Wilson 13, James Young 4, Hayden Henley 4, Will Merrell 3, Mattheu Rector 3, Ben Gray 8, Bradley Moreland 2, Lance Harden 0, Nathan Richardson 0, Brian Jeffers 0, Tucker Helmer 0, Kody Linde 0, Braydon Wilson 0.