Panthers off to 9-0 start

Mike Tupa

Going into Christmas week, the Barnsdall High School boys’ basketball team has plenty about which to “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

The experienced and energized Panthers — which have a voracious appetite for victory — surged to a 9-0 record with Thursday’s 65-23 win against visiting Wesleyan Christian School.

Barnsdall — coached by Clifton Warford — recorded its sixth-straight outing scoring at least 62 points a game and held an opponent to fewer than 40 points for sixth time this semester.

Other than an overtime win last week at Pawhuska, 63-59, Barnsdall’s closest margin of victory has been 17 points.

Warford — whose Panthers improved to 5-0 at the Joe Gilbert Fieldhouse — praised his team’s effort on both ends of the court against the WCS Mustangs.

“Our boys hooked up early and really pushed the ball in transition,” he said. “I was most impressed with how we hit the offensive glass. They worked hard all night. We forced 23 turnovers on defense and had 18 offensive rebounds as a team. Those were the two most important stats to me.”

Veteran Panther senior Derek Wilson helped key the attack both ways — he racked up five steals to fuel the transition push and also pumped in 12 points.

Christian Warford flirted with another double-double before finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds. He also spooned out five assists.

Heath Moles proved to be a formidable matchup for WCS. He canned 13 points and pulled down five boards.

Michael Marin disrupted the WCS thrust like a hangar in the spokes.

Although he scored only two points, Marin seized six rebounds and spooned out four assists.

Rounding out Barnsdall’s scoring list were Braden Kelley, six points; Keegan Marin, fives points, Alex Gaines, four points and Gage Hughes, two points.