By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Even with several player battling flu-like symptoms — including junior Jared Dickey and senior Rico Thompson — Stillwater High’s hot shooting and fast-paced offense was more than Enid could handle as the Pioneers rolled over the Plainsmen 61-46 Tuesday at the Pioneer Fieldhouse.
“We were fighting sickness, but I was proud of our team,” Stillwater coach Michael Davis said. “They were able to get it together. We know that every win isn’t going to be a 20-point blowout, but we had some guys step up big for us.”
Senior Carson Teel finished with 13 points to lead the Pioneers (10-3), but early on it was Enid (4-8) that dictated the pace by forcing Stillwater to play more of a half-court game instead of its typical run-and-shoot offense.
Leading 16-12 after the first quarter, Stillwater finally broke the game open in the second quarter. Using that pressure defense, Stillwater ended the half with a 13-4 run — sparked by Braydn Murrell’s steal and layup — to take a 34-21 lead at halftime.
The Pioneers continued to pour it on in the second half as players like Caleb Watkins and Brett Budke knocked down shots from seemingly everywhere. At one point Watkins made three straight baskets, forcing the Plainsmen to burn a timeout and figure out a different defensive strategy.
“You have to give them credit, they shot well,” Enid coach Ryan Wilkinson said. “We talked about it at the end of the quarter, but they just kept knocking down shots. There really isn’t a whole lot you can do when that happens.”
Along with Teel, Watkins finished with 8 points and Budke had 13 points and 4 rebounds. As a team Stillwater also went 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.
“This was a big win for us,” Davis said. “One of our goals is to win every game in January. It’s just one in a line, but right now we’re on our way to achieving that goal. We just have to keep working and get ready for the next one.”
Lady Pioneers fall to Pacers
In a game so evenly match, sometimes it’s the little things that can make the difference. The Stillwater High School girls basketball team learned that lesson the hard way against No. 9 Enid Tuesday at the Pioneer Fieldhouse.
Leading by as much as 11 in the first half, several turnovers — including three in the final minute — ultimately helped the Pacers stave off Stillwater’s upset bid with a 52-44 victory.
Austyn Iven’s 3-pointer with 3:24 left in the first quarter provided the first blow in the heavyweight fight, helping Stillwater (8-5) end the first quarter with an 11-2 run.
“We played well most of the game,” Stillwater coach Carl Treat said. “It shows the quality of team that we have and what we can do. It’s just, we need to get the mixture to finish possessions and finish game like that.”
Back-to-back 3-point possessions gave the Pacers (10-2) a little boost, but Stillwater got back on track with a pair of baskets from Jenny Scarbrough to take a 29-21 lead at halftime.
“It was a game of runs,”Treat said. “... Basketball is a game of runs and unfortunately they had the last one late. We felt pretty confident going into halftime with a lead, but we just couldn’t hold them off.”
Andi Pierce sparked Enid’s offense with the Pacers’ lone 3-pointer of the game, as Enid ended the
Stillwater had its chances late but it seemed like every time the Lady Pioneers had an opportunity to tie the game, the Pacers Abby Lee came up with several key offensive rebounds.
“We just had too many turnovers in the second half and too many offensive rebounds on their end really hurt us,” Treat said. “I think they had three possessions in a row where they scored off second-chance points in the third and fourth quarters.”
Iven knocked down four 3-pointers en route to a team-high 18 points, while Callie Atkins and Lauren Stettnisch each had 6 points and 3 rebounds for the Lady Pioneers.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Stillwater as the Pioneers travel to No. 1 Edmond Santa Fe Friday.
“We know that rebounding is certainly going to be an issue against them,” Treat said. “We just have to keep getting better and keep improving on it each day in practice.”