Pawhuska High School’s hoops season comes to an end

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

HOMINY — Homestanding Hominy parlayed athleticism and a massive foul-shooting advantage into a Class 2A district basketball triumph over the Pawhuska Huskies on Friday, 59-43.

The loss to the Bucks — who were barely able to win a preview matchup here three night’s earlier — sealed a seven-win season for the Pawhuska boys’ squad.

When Pawhuska and Hominy collided Tuesday, the contest was tied 11 times (including 15-all after a quarter and 33-33 at the break) before the Bucks prevailed, 68-60. The Huskies were up by as many as eight in the second half before a three-pointer evened the score (for the last time) at 51-51 with 5:51 remaining. Hominy outscored the visitors, 24-10, in the fourth quarter — with 10 of those points coming at the free-throw line.

In Friday’s district showdown Friday, the Bucks made good on 23 of 43 charity shots — including 14 of 21 in the fourth period. Pawhuska was sent to the stripe 16 times, and converted only four. The Huskies led by a point, 7-6, at the end of the first quarter, but Hominy moved in front by one (20-19) at halftime. A third-period offensive explosion propelled the Bucks to a 15-point advantage, 39-24, before the squads battled on even terms down the stretch.

Hominy’s Kolten Reed recorded a double-double, with twin 13’s for points and rebounds. He also blocked two shots and made a pair of steals. Zaven Collins topped the Buck scorers with 14 and pulled down seven boards. Dakota Doyle chipped in a dozen points and had seven rebounds to go with four steals. Edward Coon added 10 points off the Hominy bench and he and starter Armony Lowery hit two three-pointers apiece.

The Huskies’ leading scorer, junior William Merrell, tallied a game-high 19 — which included three 3s. Mattheu Rector scored six off a pair of treys. Seniors Hayden Henley, James (J.R.) Young, Lance Harden and Tucker Helmer all made their final court appearances for PHS. Henley scored five points and grabbed three rebounds, Young collected six steals before fouling out and Harden scored three and rebounded five.

In Tuesday’s regular-season finale, the Bucks rallied past the Huskies, 68-60, at the Hominy gymnasium. The contest featured included 15 lead changes and was tied 10 times in the opening half — including at 15-all after a quarter and 33-33 at the break.

Ten seconds after Doyle took the opening tipoff in for a Hominy lay-up, Mattheu Rector drilled a three-pointer for the Huskies. PHS pushed ahead on put-backs by Merrell and Henley, plus a corner trey from Rector, but the Bucks got back even with back-to-back three-point plays by Coon and Collins.

Pawhuska’s boys moved in front by eight points in the third quarter, which ended with them holding a six-point lead — 50-44.

A three-minute scoring drought at the start of the fourth quarter allowed the Bucks to tie things up on a Coon three and go up on a Reed bucket. The Huskies regained the lead, 54-53, after a trey by Richardson, but Lowery’s three-pointer with 3:05 remaining put Hominy on top to stay. In the final 50 seconds, the Bucks salted away the win by making eight of 11 free throws — with Coon responsible for five of those.

Hominy topped the visitors in total rebounds, 27 to 24, although the Huskies managed 14 offensive boards compared to six by the hosts. PHS committed a dozen turnovers, which was five times fewer than the Bucks. While both teams made 21 field goals, Pawhuska sank nine three-pointers and Hominy hit just four.

The big difference came at the free-throw line, where the Bucks converted 22 of 34 opportunities while the Huskies went nine for 19. (When the two squads met earlier this year at Pawhuska, Hominy outscored the hosts in the second half — 35 to 16 — on its way to a 51-37 triumph. The Bucks held a 19-to-2 free-shot advantage in the first clash.)