PHS boys claim 3rd in Pawhuska Invitational

Chris Day
Pawhuska’s Evan Frye (5) drives for layup in Saturday’s third-place game against Wesleyan Christian School in the third-place game at the Pawhuska Invitational basketball tournament. Chris Day/Journal-Capital

Pawhuska's boys basketball team unveiled a fast-paced, motion offense to build a 27-6 first period lead over Wesleyan Christian School in Saturday's third-place game of the Pawhuska Invitational Tournament.

The Huskies held on to post a 61-53 victory, avenging a 62-58 loss to the Mustangs in the Nov. 28 season opener.

The new approach opened up a variety of shots for the Huskies, including layups, mid-range shots and 3-pointers. The Huskies upped the pressure on defense, which forced the Mustangs to expand time and energy bringing the ball upcourt, and created some turnovers.

“I was excited about it. We had intentions of playing a little different type of style,” PHS coach Jake Christenson said. “We knew that it was going to be a little more energy and a little more up and down. We hoped that it would go the way that it did.”

The Huskies kept up the intensity and pace in the first half, but the fuel tank surged toward empty in the second half. Christenson said the Huskies will work on conditioning during the holiday break because the coaching staff and team want to play fast and hard for four quarters for the rest of the season.

In the first period, the motion offense allowed PHS to hit open 3-pointers and slash to the basket for layups and draw fouls. The Huskies went to the charity strip five times in the first quarter. They also connected on four 3-pointers and and six deuces — mainly from 10-feet in.

Wesleyan Christian slowed the Huskies scoring in the second quarter as the Mustangs found the range in the second quarter. The Mustangs scored 15 in the second, and the Huskies scored 14. Pawhuska held a 41-27 lead at the half.

A 22-point Mustang third-quarter assault narrowed the Huskies lead to single digits in the third period. The Huskies took a 50–43 advantage into the final quarter. PHS outscored Wesleyan Christian 11-10 in the last period to claim the third-place trophy.

The Huskies had three players score in double figures. Evan Frye led the way with 14. Easton Kirk added 12 and Braydon Wilson knocked down 11. Sam West and Matthew Miles came off the bench to add 8 and 7, respectively.

Second round

Barnsdall boys 59, Pawhuska 49

The Pawhuska boys team stayed close to Barnsdall throughout the first half, but the Panthers pulled away in the second behind the scoring of Christian Warford, 30, and Derek Wilson 19.

The Huskies trailed by 2 (15-13) at the end of the first quarter and 4 (33-29) at the end of the second. In the third quarter, Barnsdall outscored the Huskies 15-8 to take a 46-37 lead into the final stanza.

The Huskies kept it close in the third with two 3-pointers by Sam West and a trey by Braydon Wilson.

West led the Huskies' scoring with 16 points. Wilson added 11 and Easton Kirk pumped in 10.

First round

Pawhuska 51, Ark City 6

The Pawhuska boys basketball team rolled to a 51-6 victory over Ark City Christian Academy Tuesday.

The game was halted at halftime when the coach of the outmanned Lions indicated he wanted to invoke the mercy rule.

PHS senior Brian Jeffers was the only Pawhuska player to reach double figures with 10 points. However, nine players scored at least 2 points. Easton Kirk and JT Waddle scored eight apiece. Matthew Miles added six points by hitting a couple of treys.