By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
It’s rare that Stillwater High School senior Austyn Iven misses a free throw — let alone three.
But it was just that kind of night for the Stillwater girls basketball team in a 48-43 double overtime loss to Ponca City during Senior Night Friday at the Pioneer Fieldhouse.
“It’s just hard because we don’t take losing lightly, especially to Ponca,” Stillwater senior Callie Atkins said. “All of us played really hard in the game. Things just didn’t work.”
The Lady Pioneers (11-9) had their chances, up by as much as 37-33 with 1:47 remaining in the fourth quarter, but they just couldn’t close out the Lady Wildcats as Cheyenne Hull’s reverse layup with 17 seconds left forced overtime.
“It’s disappointing because we gave the effort,” Stillwater coach Carl Treat said. “We played hard. Our intensity and our effort were there. We just couldn’t get the break we need to get an early lead. It’s disappointing but I’m very pleased with our effort.”
Atkins provided a little spark in the first overtime, scoring all four of Stillwater’s points — including a runner with 1 second left to force a second overtime.
But once again, Hull broke Stillwater’s back — this time with a 3-pointer from the wing to start the second overtime as Ponca City outscored Stillwater 7-2 during the extra session.
“We played as hard as we needed to, we just didn’t make the bumps,” Treat said. “We didn’t get the defensive stops when we had to. When you play like that, it’s unfortunate when you play that hard but don’t get the win.”
Iven and junior Kayla Klaus led the Lady Pioneers with 10 points each, while Atkins chipped in eight points and seven rebounds. Dylan Fix also had seven points for Stillwater, which held a 20-19 lead at halftime.
With the loss the Lady Pioneers will take to the road with a game against Enid on Tuesday followed by games against Lawton Eisenhower and Lawton High next weekend.
“We just let this one go,” Atkins said. “It’s another day. We just have to take it as we have to get better. It’s experience and we just have to work toward our next game. We have Enid next and I think we’re ready.”
Stillwater boys 50, Ponca City 47
Normally, the Stillwater boys have a habit of filling up the basket on any given night, but for whatever reason, the shots weren’t falling for the Pioneers.
That is until Brett Budke drained back-to-back 3-pointers with just over 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter to help Stillwater beat Ponca City 50-47 in Friday’s nightcap at the Pioneer Fieldhouse to end the regular season undefeated at home.
“It put us back in the game and actually gave us the lead,” Budke said. “Once we had the lead, we knew we weren’t going to give it up. We just had to get the lead first.
“They were frustrating us with their defense. They’ll bump you on your shots, but coach just challenged us to step up and that’s what we did.”
Carson Teel led the comeback, tallying four free throws in under a 30 seconds as the Pioneers (16-4) turned a 35-42 deficit into a 45-42 lead with a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter.
“We got down seven and coach (Michael Davis) called us over and called a timeout,” senior Caleb Watkins said. “He told us that we had been her before twice and asked what did we do every single time? We all responded, ‘Came out and got the W.’ From that point we had that fire — just that little spark and got the W.”
Teel finished with 17 points, while Budke tallied 13 and four rebounds. Freshman Jordan Brown also scored 10 points — preferring to do most of his damage in the first half — but Stillwater trailed 26-25 at halftime. Senior Rico Thompson also tallied eight points in his regular season finale at the Pioneer Fieldhouse.
“This was the third time we had to play that team,” Stillwater coach Michael Davis said. “We knew it was going to be hard. Every time we play them it’s been a tough game. Ponca City is a good team. Don’t let their record fool you, they’re a good team.”