Stillwater News Press

High School Sports

December 15, 2012

Pioneers start fast, hang on to beat Lawton

STILLWATER, Okla. — During practice this week, Stillwater senior Carson Teel shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 3-pointers and 200 free throws.

All that hard work eventually paid off as the Stillwater High School basketball team held off a late surge by Lawton to open the weekend with an 82-77 over the Wolverines Friday at the Pioneer Fieldhouse.

“Coach (Michael Davis) had me shoot 100 3s before and after practice, and it kind of builds your confidence,” Teel said. Once you know you can knock down that many shots, you just fire away in the game. It becomes muscle-memory and once you get in the game everything just starts flowing.”

Teel hit four 3-pointers in the first half en route to 19 points as Stillwater (4-2) shot 60 percent from the field, but it took some key free throws from junior Brett Budke it ice the game with just under a minute left.

“I work with Brett on free throws every day,” Davis said. “I knew that Brett was going to make those free throws. This was a good win against a tough team and it should help get us back on track.”

Free throws were an issue for the Pioneers last week in Bixby. Friday, those issues seemed to be fixed as Budke went 7 for 7 from the line — sharing the team lead with 19 points, while pulling down a team-high four rebounds. Teel also went 5 for 5 after a rough outing in the Bixby Tournament.

“I had a rough time in Bixby but I was just thinking don’t miss,” Teel said. “I’ve been practicing free throws because (Davis) has me shoot about 50 on the line every day before and after practice just to get that muscle-memory again.”

Stillwater got off to a hot start offensively, matching Lawton shot for shot through most of the first quarter before ending the quarter with a 13-2 run.

“We had a lot of adrenaline,” Teel said. “We came in here thinking that we were invincible at first and nobody can touch us. We went out there and proved it. (Lawton) came out a little sluggish, so that didn’t help. But we take advantage of every situation we have and I think that’s why we started off hot.”

That momentum carried over in the second quarter as the lead ballooned to 23 midway through the third quarter before Lawton started to make things interesting with a 10-0 run to close the gap thanks in large part to Tevin Foster.

“We got a little complacent and let them hang around,” Davis said. “They made some tough 3s. We had guys challenging the shots and they just happened to go in.”

Clinging to a 67-54 lead after three quarters, The Pioneers saw the lead dwindle to three with just under a minute remaining as Lawton’s Chris Jones knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing.

“We need to work on our defense,” Teel said. “We’re pretty immature, as coach Davis told us. We need to work in the second half toward finishing games. We get up and we’re wanting to get our young guys in to get them experience, but we always slip up. We need to stop that and keep the intensity up the entire game.”

Budke kept the comeback from being complete, coolly knocking down a pair of free throws to finish the game.

“I knew we had a sour taste in our mouths,” Davis said. “We knew that they were going to play hard. They played hard all game, we just made some mistakes along the way. That’s due to inexperience and immaturity. A lot of these kids didn’t get to play a lot, so they’re still learning.”

The win snaps the Pioneers two-game losing streak, but Stillwater won’t be able to rest easy with No. 5 Lawton Eisenhower coming to town Saturday.

“They have to do the same thing,” Davis said. “They’re in Enid (Friday), so they have to do the same thing. But if you want it bad enough it shouldn’t be any problem for you.”

“(The win) is a huge momentum lift after facing a good team,” Teel said. “We beat them down to the wire, but a ‘W’ is a ‘W’ and you can build on that and try to get better. (Saturday) we’ll come out and try to get another ‘W’.”


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