By Andrew Glover
Stillwater News Press
YUKON, Okla. —
Before Thursday’s Class A state quarterfinal, Glencoe coach John Lazenby said his team needed to contain Velma-Alma’s Jaz Gayanich to have a chance. Gayanich knocked down four 3-pointers in the first half but was held in check in the second, as the Glencoe Panthers pulled away late in an 83-69 victory at Yukon High School.
“We didn’t do a good job of (stopping Gayanich) in the first half,” Lazenby said. “... In the second half we did better and he cooled off a little bit. We were able to hit shots.”
Gayanich made four of his six 3-point attempts and scored 14 points in the first half. In the second half, Glencoe held him to seven and one made 3-pointer.
The first quarter was back-and-forth with the lead changing hands multiple times. Ty Lazenby made a 3-pointer in the closing seconds that gave the Panthers an 18-17 lead. The Panthers led by as many as eight in the first half but the Comets kept making 3-pointers to stay in the game. Glencoe led 40-34 at halftime.
While the Panthers (27-0) were able to limit Gayanich’s production, Conner Sullivan stepped up the scoring for Velma-Alma. Sullivan scored 27 points and made three 3-pointers.
“Sullivan came in averaging 16 points per game,” Lazenby said.
Glencoe’s lead didn’t get larger than a couple possessions in the third quarter but maintained its margin, leading 56-50 after three quarters. That’s when the Panthers started to take control.
Starting post Andrew Kuhn started Glencoe’s run with two made free throws. Lazenby, who scored 17 in the first half made a basket to put the Panthers up by nine. Kuhn scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Lazenby scored 12 points to finish with 31.
“Ty was able to take over,” coach Lazenby said. “Andrew came out and hit some big buckets.”
Kuhn said he just took advantage of his opportunities and added that the team played better in the second half.
“I just got better inside position and got as many rebounds as I could,” Kuhn said. “We started playing like a team more and shared the ball more.”
Velma-Alma (21-7) wasn’t able to get closer than seven. Sullivan fouled out midway through the final quarter — making a comeback impossible.
The Panthers advance to the semifinals and will play Weleetka — a rematch of last year’s championship game — Laverne at 10:30 a.m. at Jim Norick State Fair Arena.
“It’s just about survive and advance,” coach Lazenby said. “... 10:30 for us is 10:30 for them. Believe me, state semifinals, both teams will be ready to roll.”