McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 21, 2014

Pitt 8 Tournament, Day 1

Top seeds win, Demons upset

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — Cowgirls 77, Warriorettes 32:

Even on a night in which Kiowa came out cold and its starters spent most of the game on the bench, the Cowgirls still had far too many weapons and far too much cohesion for the much-younger Indianola Warriorettes.

Miranda Stiles scored 16 and teammate Addy Clift scored 11, leading the Cowgirls to a 77-32 win in Monday’s first round of the 2014 Pitt 8 Tournament at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester.

Though down 6-0 early in the first, Stiles got the Cowgirls on the board with a layup, then made it 8-4 Indianola on another. Rylee Smith cut Indianola’s lead to 1 with a layup and a free throw, and after Ashley Clark hit a 3-pointer for Indianola, baskets from Smith and Clift tied the game 11-11 and started a 22-2 Cowgirls run.

Smith gave Kiowa the lead with a layup, then a 3-pointer from Clift made it 16-11 Kiowa. Stiles then scored back-to-back layups, the second one coming after she and Clift double-teamed Indianola’s guard to force a turnover.

“We just knew we had to come out, and as long we were aggressive and we attacked the basket, we would come out pretty successful,” Stiles said.

Tara Mabray came up with a steal on Indianola’s next possession, and Kiowa got two free throws from Clift off the turnover. Clift then turned a steal into a layup from Stiles, then Mabray turned a steal into a layup by Madi Slawson to make it 26-11 Cowgirls.

Lena Painter hit a jumper for Indianola, but Clift knocked down a free throw, then Mabray stole another pass and got it to Stiles for a buzzer-beating layup and a 29-13 lead. Mabray scored 10 for the Cowgirls and also acted as the team’s primary handler as Daniel played more and more of his subs.

“She’s a sparkplug,” Kiowa coach Wade Daniel said of Mabray. “She comes in and makes stuff happen.”

Daniel added, “We have some young kids that are a little lower down on the rotation that I want to get some time in. We’re going to need them in the playoffs.”

Daniel rested Slawson, Clift and Stiles for the entire second quarter, but the Cowgirls still went into halftime up 45-18. Stiles and Slawson played the first four minutes of the third, then Clift came in, and all of Kiowa’s starters were gone by the start of the fourth.

Despite all the substitutions, Kiowa still outscored Indianola in all four quarters. Clark scored 14 for the Warriorettes, and Painter scored 7.

“The first five or six minutes, we played real hard, played real well,” Indianola coach Jim Mize said. “Whether we can carry that on and continue it the rest of the season, I don’t know.”

With the win, Kiowa advanced to Wednesday’s semifinal against Stuart at 8:40 p.m. Indianola, a still winless team this season, plays Canadian in a consolation semifinal Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Hornets 84, Warriors 24:

If one Stuart guard gets hot from 3-point range, it can mean a long night for opposing defenses.

If multiple Stuart guards get hot .... games like Monday’s occur.

Six Hornets combined to knock down 12 3-pointers, leading to an 84-24 blowout win against the Indianola Warriors in Monday’s first round of the Pitt 8 Tournament.

“At halftime we were at 80 percent, and finished the game at 66,” Stuart coach David Ivy said of his team’s 3-point shooting. With head coach Darrick Farriell out sick, Ivy coached the Hornets on Monday.

Stuart’s offense started the game on fire, scoring its first 18 points on 3-pointers. Kaleb Wilson opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 6-2 Stuart, then Sam Mitchell connected on one of his own.

Levi Pruitt hit a free throw for Indianola to cut Stuart’s lead to 9-3 — Indianola’s last point of the first quarter — but Mitchell found Wilson for another 3-pointer. Wilson then passed it to Grady Brewer for a 3-pointer, and Brewer returned the favor after an Indianola miss to make it 18-3 Stuart.

Scoring 22 points, Wilson nearly matched all of Indianola’s scoring by himself.

“We worked it inside out a little bit and found our shots early,” Wilson said. “Once those were falling, we knew that we would have a pretty good opportunity to blow it open.”

Stuart’s first 2-point basket didn’t come until Tyler Dunagan’s layup with 3:10 left in the first. Wilson sank a free throw, then Brewer found Mitchell for a jump shot that made it 23-3 Stuart.

Wilson knocked down another 3-pointer, a miss turned into a fastbreak basket from Mitchell, then Dunagan sank a layup as the first quarter expired to put Stuart up 30-3.

“They’re lights-out shooting,” Indianola coach A.J. Mason said of the Hornets. “Give them five feet (of space), and they’ll take it.”

Mitchell scored 11 for the Hornets, while Dunagan, Zayne Goode and Dillon Lawrence all scored 10. Cody Clark led the Warriors with 9 points.

With the win, Stuart advanced to Thursday’s semifinal against Crowder at 6 p.m. Indianola plays Savanna in a consolation semifinal Wednesday at 7:20 p.m.

Lady Hornets 39, Lady Cougars 13:

The Stuart Lady Hornets never found an offensive rhythm. But with the Canadian Lady Cougars barely averaging 3 points per quarter themselves, the Lady Hornets just needed solid defense and a few timely baskets to win.

McKay Barton scored 11 and Megan Jernigen scored 10, helpinh the Lady Hornets beat the Lady Cougars, 39-13, in Monday’s first-round game of the Pitt 8 Tournament.

“We didn’t want to just drill them on the ground or anything,” Stuart coach Melinda Dobson said. “We wanted to slow down a little bit.”

Already up 7 after the first quarter, the Lady Hornets used a 12-1 second quarter to put the game away. Kylie Jernigen came up with a steal on Canadian’s first possession of the second, then Emilee Beck threw a deep pass to Barton for a fastbreak layup that made it 13-4 Stuart.

Barton later made it 15-4 by taking a rebound coast-to-coast for a layup. Kayla Smith drained a layup for Stuart, then another steal led to a crossover layup from Barton and a 19-4 lead. Barton then assisted on two layups from Megan Jernigen to put Stuart up 23-5 heading into halftime.

“There’s a lot of glare on the goals and stuff, so you have to adjust and know where everything is,” Barton said of playing in the Expo Center. “It kind of sets your balance off a little bit.”

Stuart added 12 points in the third quarter — more than enough against a Canadian offense in which Elisabeth Willis led her team despite scoring just 6 points. The Lady Cougars looked passive on the court, waiting for passes to arrive instead of running towards them.

The Lady Hornets, meanwhile, took a more aggressive approach to both offense and defense. That allowed Stuart to step in front of multiple Canadian passes, getting steals or deflections that put the Lady Hornets on the fastbreak before the Lady Cougars’ taller forwards could get back on defense.

“When you’re only giving up 39 points, probably 15 of those points are from not meeting our pass, and then they step in front and go shoot a layup,” Canadian coach Daniel Lokey said. “If you don’t meet your pass five times, then you might as well say, ‘There are 10 points.’”

Lokey added, “They scored 77 against us the last time, 39 tonight. ... So defensively, we’ve done everything we were supposed to do to give ourselves a chance to be in the ballgame.”

With the win, Stuart advanced to Wednesday’s semifinal against Kiowa at 8:40 p.m. Canadian plays Indianola in a consolation semifinal Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Demons 59, Bulldogs 46:

A good “inside-out” offense usually requires a forward to dominate in the post, which in turns opens up a team’s outside shooters.

Crowder forward Austin Weeks dominated in the post, and guard Erik Crenshaw had a much easier time knocking down jump shots because of it.

Weeks and Crenshaw combined for 40 points, helping the fifth-seeded Demons upset the fourth-seeded Bulldogs, 59-46, in Monday’s first-round game of the Pitt 8 Tournament.

“Hunter (Motley) and Austin, they are the main two centerpieces of our offense,” Crenshaw said. “Whenever they come in, they just drive and kick, and it just opens up the 3-pointers.”

Though the Bulldogs played the Demons close in three of their four quarters Monday, the Bulldogs dug themselves too big a hole by allowing the Demons to win the first quarter, 20-10. Crenshaw put Crowder up 3-0 with a layup and a foul, then after Kris Perry drained a layup for Savanna, Crenshaw knocked down a 3-pointer from halfway between the 3-point arch and the halfcourt line.

Perry scored again for Savanna, but Weeks grabbed an offensive rebound and sank two free throws. Tanner Brown put back an offensive rebound for Savanna, but Mike White found Weeks for a floater that made it 10-6 Demons.

Crowder later closed out the first on a 6-0 run, getting a layup from Body Pace, two free throws from Hunter Motley and a layup from Weeks as the quarter expired to make it 20-10. Crenshaw led the Demons with 22 points, while Weeks scored 18.

“Low turnovers, pretty much playing together, that was the main thing,” Crowder coach Will Holiman Jr. said. “Everybody did their part.”

Down 50-35 entering the fourth quarter, Savanna twice went on small scoring runs. But while Kris Perry scored 21 for the Bulldogs, the Demons quickly figured out that if they stopped Perry, they stopped Savanna’s offense.

“We just turned the ball over way too much,” Bulldogs coach Brian Brown said. “Things don’t end up good for you very many times when you turn the ball over a whole lot.”

With the win, Crowder advanced to Thursday’s semifinal against Stuart at 6 p.m. Savanna plays Indianola in a consolation semifinal Wednesday at 7:20 p.m.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.