CUSHING – Perkins-Tryon boys led their rivals down the road for a few minutes to begin Tuesday’s road game.
Then came Cushing’s full-court pressure. P-T never found an answer for the Tigers’ defense and its offense took lumps for the majority of the contest.
Cushing scored consistently throughout the game en route to a 51-27 victory over its Highway 33 rivals. That avenged a 50-44 loss earlier in the season.
“We’ve been getting off to some slow starts, but today we were able to turn it around,” Cushing boys coach Jontue Ezell said. “One good thing about when we get off to a slow start offensively, defensively we usually play pretty well. That was the thing today, which jump-started our offense. From there, we just stayed on them and the pressure was getting to them.”
The Demons were scoring and playing tough defense during the opening minutes Tuesday. They led 8-5 before Cushing went on an 8-1 run. The Tigers never looked back.
P-T scored only five points in each of the final two quarters. That lack of offense frustrated P-T coach Norman Tippeconnie.
“We’re beat up a little bit, we have some kids injured and our depth hurt us tonight,” Tippeconnie said. “Give (Cushing) credit. Their trapping defense gave us some fits. When you turn it over like that, you’re not giving yourself enough chances to score.
“We did not shoot it well again. We’ve got to continue to find ways to score better. We had a 10-point half and you’re not going to be too successful with a 10-point half. It was a struggle again tonight. We’ve got young kids and they’re trying. We’ll keep trying to figure it out.”
Cushing’s seven-point lead quickly built to double digits during the first three minutes of the third quarter, thanks to five-straight points from Cushing’s Caleb Tull, who led the Tigers with 14 points.
Tyler Hurst added 10 points in the victory. Wil Moyer scored eights points for the Tigers. In all, 10 Cushing players scored as the Tigers emptied the bench during the final minutes.
“It’s always nice to get some of those guys in who don’t always see varsity minutes,” Ezell said. “We have very few of these games, so when we get a chance, we take it, especially at home in front of their friends and family who haven’t got to see them in the light.”
Cushing will host Cleveland on Friday, while P-T will play Sperry at home. Friday will be senior night for both schools.