STILLWATER, Okla. —
Opening with a pair of games against quality teams from Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the Stillwater High School boys basketball team knew the Stillwater Basketball Festival was a chance to make a statement no matter who they faced. And the Pioneers weren't going to go down without a fight.
The Pioneers lived up to that statement Friday at the Pioneer Fieldhouse, holding off Southeast 62-54 in the final game of the festival.
“Southeast is from the rough part of Oklahoma City,” Stillwater senior Rico Thompson said. “They played rough, they played tough. We had to match it and we came with it tonight. We don't care who we're playing. We show up and we show out. We have to come ready to play every game.”
Thompson had 20 points and knocked down 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to lead the Pioneers. He also finished with 8 assists and 9 rebounds, including an assist to Brett Budke that swung momentum in Stillwater's favor late in the fourth quarter.
“That's just typical Rico,” Stillwater coach Michael Davis said. “He's got so much better at seeing the court. Some times he's a bit too unselfish, but he did what we work on in practice. If a guy commits to you, you make the pass and some way, some how he got it to him.”
Along with Thompson, Caleb Watkins also connected on all four of his free throws with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter to give Stillwater (2-0) the win.
“Caleb knocked down a couple of big free throws,” Davis said. “I thought Caleb was rock-steady tonight. He had a handle on stuff. He's always going to be on demand with people he plays against. … He's a quiet leader that keeps us steady and he did his job.”