WILBURTON — The Hartshorne Miners couldn’t sink a perimeter shot, and oftentimes they couldn’t even hit the rim.
With the Miners’ outside-shooting ineffective, they turned to the paint.
Trey Medicine Bear and Isaiah Osife combined for 26 points — almost all of which came on shots within 10 feet of the basket — helping the Miners spoil Friday’s Homecoming game in Wilburton, 55-42.
“We found a way to get to the rim,” Hartshorne coach Jeff Beare said.
“We’ve taken it upon ourselves that we want to get to the rim. Our 3 (pointer) needs to be our second option.”
The Miners switched from a half-court defense to a full-court press to start the second half. The strategy didn’t work in the third, with the Diggers’ scoring 15 points in their highest-scoring quarter of the game.
Hartshorne stuck with its press, and it paid dividends in the fourth, with the Miners forcing turnovers on five consecutive Wilburton possessions.
Though Hartshorne’s first steal couldn’t produce points, Medicine Bear picked off the next Wilburton pass and found Osife for a layup. Medicine
Bear’s second steal led to Troy Ray scoring off an offensive rebound, and Medicine Bear’s third led to Ryan Reddick’s layup and a 42-32 lead with about five minutes left in the game.
“I wanted to try to win without it, but I felt like we needed to just get that pressure, try to get that momentum that we needed,” Beare said of his fullcourt press.
“We line up our press according to who’s shooting the free throw. We kind of got lucky in those situations where Trey (Medicine Bear) was the one who was back.”
Medicine Bear, a freshman, also appeared to be physically stronger than anyone on Wilburton’s roster, simply overpowering defenders in his drives to the basket. Medicine Bear scored 12 for the Miners, his layup off a pass from Osife putting Hartshorne up 44-32 with 3:30 left in the fourth.