By Derek Brown
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater’s Brett Budke was injured during the finals of the Shawnee Tournament on Saturday. The Pioneers wanted to get the win over No. 6 ranked Edmond Santa Fe on Tuesday night at home for Budke. Mission accomplished.
No. 15 Stillwater upset the Wolves by pouring in 81 points in an 81-65 victory.
“That was the greatest feeling in the world to go over to the bench and give Brett a hug and let him know that was for him. We wanted this for him,” Stillwater sophomore Jake Green said.
Stillwater hangs its hat on being an all-around basketball team. Stillwater had four players score in double figures, without their second leading scorer in Budke.
“We got big contributions from everybody that played. It was a big win,” Stillwater coach Michael Davis said.
Carson Teel ended the game with a game-high 20 points. Brandon Prather got his first start and dropped in 19 points, including four fourth–quarter free throws.
“I wasn’t worried about starting. ... I’m just a role player for this team. We wanted this for Brett and we came out there and did what we needed to do,” Prather said.
Prather is in his first basketball season with the Pioneers but has not hit his cap.
“Brandon is a special athlete,” Davis said. “I think the best of Brandon is not here yet.”
Jordan Brown came off of the bench and dropped in 16 points. Brown brought the crowd to its feet when he threw down a one-handed slam with 3:46 to play to go up 69-60.
“We switched up the lineup and brought Jordan off of the bench to try to calm him down. I thought Jordan answered the bell,” Davis said.
Green scored 12 points in the big Pioneer win. Green dropped in two 3-point shots.
Jared Dickey contributed eight points.
“I thought Jared Dickey played his rear-end off,” Davis said.
Without Budke, Stillwater knew that someone, or multiple players, needed to rise to the challenge.
“We do a lot of shooting drills so if you try to ake away one, somebody else has to be able to step up,” Davis said.
The Pioneer’s strong start paced the way. Stillwater led 27-15 after the first quarter behind Carson Teel’s 13 points in the first eight minutes.
Stillwater led 42-33 at halftime.
The Wolves’ halftime talk must have lit a fire underneath them. Edmond Santa Fe started off the second half with an 8-0 run to pull to 42-41 with 6:40 left in the third quarter.
Davis called a timeout to settle the troops.
“We had problems getting rebounds so pretty much we had to get rebounds,” Brown said. “We had to slow down.”
Following the timeout the Pioneers answered with their own run. SHS went on a 15-5 run to take a 57-46 lead into the final quarter.
Stillwater got in the bonus and used it to its advantage in the final minutes of the game. SHS went 15 of 16 from the free throw line vs. the Wolves’ 8 of 12.
“We’ve been shooting 67 percent (from the line). That’s more like it. Take your time and put down free throws,” Davis said.
Stillwater turned the basketball over 15 times. Edmond Santa Fe had 10 turnovers.
“There’s still some things that we still have to work on,” Davis said.
Stillwater shot the ball at 52 percent on 29 of 56. Edmond Santa Fe went 28 of 66.
“Our guys were hustling and getting after them,” Davis said. “We played hard and defended from beyond the three.”
The game was a very fast paced basketball game. Both teams wanted to get down the floor and score buckets in transition.
“We knew they wanted to get up and down,” Davis said. “We’ve got to play smarter, not play harder.”
Stillwater can look at the win Tuesday night and use it for the future as a building block.
“This is for us not for anybody else. We can only control what we do. This win is for us. It makes a statement to us that we can play with the big dogs. We needed that for ourselves,” Davis said.
Stillwater went into the game against No. 2 ranked Edmond Santa Fe with “nothing to lose.”
The Lady Pioneers knew how athletic the Lady Wolves were coming into the game. Quickness combined with length meant doom for Stillwater on Tuesday night. SHS fell victim to the dominant Edmond Santa Fe by means of a 61-36 loss.
“Santa Fe is pretty good. We were a little overmatched here tonight. They’re better than we are. ... They beat the crap out of everybody,” Stillwater coach Clay Stephens said. “I’m not aggravated with this one because Santa Fe is better than we are. I call that an NTL game, nothing to lose.”
Stillwater felt that the Lady Wolves would press the SHS offense. Edmond Santa Fe’s defense was all over Stillwater forcing 23 turnovers compared to just nine for the Lady Wolves.
“We get a little panicky. We get a little scattered. We need to slow down a little bit,” Stephens said.
Stillwater’s Dylan Fix led the Lady Pioneers in the loss with eight points, including two 3-point buckets.
Fix and Becca Worthy split time at the point to help the Lady Pioneer offense.
“The idea behind that is Dylan can score. We want Dylan down the court to catch the ball on our offensive end,” Stephens said. “Not to wear herself out against that kind of pressure. ... Becca handles the ball and Dylan will be down on the other end.”
Ericka Stevenson scored seven points against the Lady Wolves. Lauren Stettnisch dropped in just two buckets for four points.
Edmond Santa Fe’s defense down low was stiff and pushed Stillwater out of the paint more than what the Lady Pioneers are used to.
“Both of our post players kind of got pushed off of the block. For us that’s unusual, our post players are our strengths,” Stephens said. “We were catching the ball further from the basket than we wanted to. Hopefully we learned something.”
Stillwater shot just 13 of 43 as Edmond Santa Fe went 25 of 65.
The Lady Wolves’ Summer Jones and Tamara Lee both scored 12 points in the lopsided victory.
Stillwater fell to 7-11 on the season as Edmond Santa Fe moved up to 14-1. The Lady Wolves’ only loss of the year was to the current No. 1 ranked Broken Arrow.
“Hopefully we learned something along the way that will help us down the road,” Stephens said.