By NewsPress Staff
CATOOSA, Okla. —
Stillwater High’s basketball season came to a crushing end Saturday at the hands of Broken Arrow in the area consolation finals.
With a trip to the state tournament on the line, the Pioneers suffered a 74-62 loss to the Tigers.
“I’ve been proud of these guys all year. In my 14 years as a coach, I’ve had some more talented teams, but I’ve never been prouder of this team,” SHS coach Michael Davis said. “With everything they’ve lost and everything they’ve gone through, they’ve accomplished some amazing things.”
The contest was much closer than the final score would indicate, with SHS even finding itself in the lead at one point in the second half.
Stillwater got off to a hot start, holding a three-point lead after the opening quarter. But Broken Arrow surged ahead in the second quarter to claim a 34-29 halftime lead.
Broken Arrow pushed ahead by as much as eight several times in the second half, but Stillwater fought its way back until late when the Tigers pushed past the double-digit lead mark with 1:37 left in the game.
“I didn’t expect anything different or anything less from our guys,” Davis said. “Unfortunately in sports somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. I’m really hurting for them right now. I really wanted this for them.”
Senior Rico Thompson fouled out in his final game as a Pioneer with 41 seconds left after scoring a game-high 26 points.
“Rico played his rear end off, as he has done all year,” Davis said. “He’s an incredibly talented basketball player who has improved in his time here at Stillwater. He’s an unbelievable player and incredible person and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
A large contingent of SHS fans gave Thompson a big ovation when he fouled out. Davis said the fans have been special all year for the Pioneers.
“We’ve got great fans and a great student body. It was unbelievable,” the SHS coach said. “They have been unbelievable all year. We don’t have the success we had without them.”
Juniors Carson Teel and Brett Budke also scored in double figures for Stillwater with Teel tallying 16 points and Budke finishing with 10.