Pawhuska boys, girls defeat Barnsdall in hoops action

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Pawhuska Lady Huskies, coached by David Cash, improved their season mark to 4-1 last Friday with an easy win over cross-county rival Barnsdall. This was the Lady Huskies' last game action until January.

The OSSAA shows the final score as 61-16 in favor of Pawhuska, although anyone watching the game could be forgiven for thinking it was 60-16 because PHS led the game 58-16 at the end, and made two free throws to enhance that lead.

Whatever the case, the Lady Huskies got off to a 22-2 lead by the end of the opening quarter, and then built that up to 39-7 by halftime. Pawhuska played an aggressive, pressing style and took advantage of Barnsdall turnovers. Senior Shelby Laird led the Lady Huskies in scoring with 15 points. Miya Curry was next with 11.

To date, the Lady Huskies have also beaten Hominy, 63-19, and they won two of three games at the Oilton Tournament. The Pawhuska girls' only loss was to Frontier, by a count of 53-40.

The Lady Huskies are looking to improve on the 19-7 record of the 2018-19 team, and they have a core of experienced veteran players. Laird, Curry and Nevaeh Taylor bring a wealth of experience and game savvy to their task. They and teammates like Jordan Nelson and Jayden Sloan also know one another well from having been on the same fast-pitch softball squad.

Pawhuska's boys also scored a decisive win Friday, topping Barnsdall 69-35. The boys improved their mark for the new roundball season to 2-0. They also defeated Hominy, 64-44. The next game is slated for Jan. 12 on the road versus Hominy.

Starters for the Huskies on Friday evening included Holton Justus, Dalton Hurd, Mason Gilkey, Isaiah Walker and Jamar Goff. Four of those five names should be immediately familiar to anyone who followed Pawhuska football in the fall.

Justus, the son of first-year head coach Talby Justus, led the Huskies in scoring against Barnsdall with 16 points. Gilkey, who was an important presence on the 2018-19 PHS basketball team that made a run to the Area Tournament, followed closely with 15 points.

Goff, who was not part of the Pawhuska basketball team a year ago, played at the post position and displayed admirable agility and body control for a truly large young man who was a monster in the middle on the defensive line in football.

Pawhuska got out to a 23-6 lead over Barnsdall at the end of the first period, and led 47-20 at the half. The Huskies were able to give their reserves a lot of playing time in the second half, but retained their lead.