By Andrew Glover
OKLAHOMA CITY —
OKLAHOMA CITY — Friday night, when the Coyle Bluejackets were on the ropes, they had a player step up and bring them back. Saturday night in the Class B state finals, Coyle didn’t have an answer for Arnett’s Tyler Tune, who scored 31 of his 39 points in the second half to erase the Bluejackets’ 21-point first half lead in a 71-60 Wildcats victory at State Fair Arena.
“It hurts because we put a lot of work into it,” coach Josh Sumrall said. “I’m proud of them for their effort this year.”
Senior Fidel Simpson, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the first half, said it was tough to come up short.
“Always want to come out on top,” Simpson said. “You never want to lose your last game, especially being a senior.”
The Bluejackets (25-5) pulled away early. Simpson hit a 3-pointer and another field goal. Eric Harris made a basket and junior Ryan Weathers contributed free throws in a 9-0 run. The same three players combined again for a 14-0 run, giving Coyle a 27-6 lead in the second quarter.
“We came out hitting and ready to play,” Simpson said.
Coyle’s aggressive defense made getting a basket difficult for Arnett as it missed shots and had several turnovers. The Wildcats also didn’t take advantage of their free throw opportunities as they converted just 5 of 13. The Bluejackets led 37-23 at halftime.
In the second half, the Wildcats (22-8) made a surge behind Tune’s scoring. Tune scored seven points. A 3-pointer by Ryne Friesen cut Coyle’s lead to 39-33. Tune scored 11 points in the third quarter and cut the Bluejackets’ lead to 46-45.
“We got some momentum and they made an adjustment,” Sumrall said. “We tried to counter at halftime. It got away from us and they got the momentum and we couldn’t get it back.”
Tune carried his scoring into the fourth quarter with 20 points. Both teams exchanged baskets at the start of the fourth. Tune made a basket and a free throw. Trevor Bryant made a basket to give Arnett its largest lead of the game at 58-54. After another exchange of buckets, Tune scored five straight points and 10 of Arnett’s next 11.
“Tyler Tune is a great player,” Sumrall said. “He got on a bigger roll than we could stop.”
Simpson said Coyle wasn’t as lucky with its shots in the second half as in the first.
“When it came down to it, we just couldn’t do it,” Simpson said.
Simpson’s 20 lead the Bluejackets. Weathers followed with 16 and Harris scored 12. Coyle seniors Simpson, Harris, Aska and Dalton Anderson finished their careers. Sumrall said it’s tough losing experience but is looking forward to next year.
“(The young guys) got a lot of experience this year,” Sumrall said. “We are going to keep going.”