The Stillwater High boys basketball team washed the nasty taste from last weekend’s Bartlesville Tournament out of its mouth Tuesday night at Pioneer Fieldhouse.
Stillwater dropped its final two tournament games, finishing fourth Saturday evening. The losses didn’t sit well with the Pioneers.
They took out their frustration on a struggling Moore squad at home three days later. The Pioneers took control of the game in the opening minutes and never looked back, defeating Moore, 72-40, and starting their three-game home stand with a victory.
“They had a bad taste in their mouth after the Bartlesville game (Saturday), because they know they let one get away,” SHS boys coach Michael Davis said. “To bounce back the way they did, I’m very proud of them. … I know we probably had more turnovers than what I wanted, but we had only four at halftime, so I’ll take that.”
Senior Garrick Martin said the players met after the tournament, and that helped leading up to Tuesday’s game.
“We had a player-only meeting after our loss in the tournament and we went over a lot of things we want to change,” Martin said. “We came to practice yesterday and had a good practice. Then we came out and got the dub.”
Stillwater built a 12-0 lead during the opening five minutes of Tuesday’s contest. Four of five Stillwater starters scored during the opening run with seniors Jack Glenn and Hunter Staten each scoring four points.
Fellow senior Dylan Smith scored his first points – a 3-pointer – after Moore scored its first points 5 minutes and 28 seconds into the contest. Staten, who came into the game as Stillwater’s leading scorer but was the only starter not in double figures Tuesday with eight points scored, along with Martin on the next two possessions.
Martin led the Pioneers in scoring with 17 points. Glenn and Smith followed closely behind with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Junior Jack Smithton also added 11 points from the final starting spot.
“I felt like Dylan controlled and ran the team,” Davis said. “I felt like Garrick Martin and Jack Smithton keep getting better, and what can you say about Jack Glenn and Hunter? They just keep getting better. We’re trying to build something here, and it’s one game at a time.
“Hunter missed four free throws, that’s why he only had eight. We’ve felt all along we have people around him who can score, so that was good for those other guys.”
Stillwater led 19-7 after the first quarter. Moore opened the second quarter with a 4-0 run, expanding its run to a 9-0 run. Stillwater responded with a run of its own – a 13-0 spurt – to once again take control of the contest.
Moore was never able to cut the lead to under 19 points after the Pioneers’ large second quarter run. The Lions hit a few 3-pointers in the second half, but Stillwater’s run-and-gun offense was too much to overcome.
A handful of Pioneers, who haven’t seen much court time this season, were able to play during the final minutes. One of those players was senior Nate Mansell, whose bucket late in the game was met with a roar from the SHS student body and bench.
“Nate is a fan favorite and team favorite,” Davis said. “They were trying to get him in there.”
Stillwater will be back at home for its next two games. On Friday, the Pioneers welcome Yukon to town for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. Homecoming festivities will follow the boys game.