McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 25, 2014

Pitt 8 Tournament, Day 5

Cowboys, Lady Hornets take third

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — Lady Warriors 48, Demonettes 39:

Tori Cole scored 24 points, leading the Haileyville Lady Warriors to a 48-39 win against the Crowder Demonettes in the Pitt 8 Tournament consolation semifinals Friday at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester. Haileyville played Canadian in the consolation championships Saturday.

Though down 4 points at halftime, the Lady Warriors seized control of the game with a third quarter in which they outscored the Demonettes 21-5. Hannah Manning knocked down two 3-pointers to put Haileyville up 27-23, then Cole’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 30-23.

Cole went on to score 12 points in the third quarter, and the Lady Warriors went into the fourth quarter up 38-26. With the Demonettes struggling to score despite rebounding far better than the Lady Warriors, Crowder could only shave 3 points off its deficit in the fourth.

Zoey Carter led the Demonettes with 18 points, but 11 came in the first quarter. Kylee Bennett scored 11, but Crowder still exited the Pitt 8 Tournament with an 0-2 record.

Manning scored 11 for Haileyville. The Lady Warriors went 0-2 in the 2013 Pitt 8 Tournament, so this win guaranteed them a better finish in 2014.

Cougars 55, Panthers 27:

The Canadian Cougars scored the first 12 points of the game and never looked back, ultimately beating the Pittsburg Panthers 55-27 in the Pitt 8 Tournament consolation semifinals. Canadian played Savanna in the consolation championships Saturday.

Needing to play just three quarters, Chase Shearwood led the Cougars with 16 points. Paul Childers scored 10, and Ryan Leal and Caleb Jarrett both scored 9.

Leal also had the most acrobatic basket of the game, slashing his way past two Pittsburg defenders, passing the ball between his legs while in the air, then finishing the layup with an underhanded scoop-shot.

Gunner Parent scored 12 points for the Panthers, and Shawn Luman scored 8. Canadian outscored Pittsburg in all four quarters, the Cougars dominating the Panthers in essentially all facets of the game.

The Panthers went 0-2 in the 2014 Pitt 8 Tournament.

Lady Hornets 65, Lady Bulldogs 49:

Stuart guard McKay Barton scored 20 points in the first half, then teammate Emilee Beck scored 13 in the second half, helping the Lady Hornets beat the Savanna Lady Bulldogs 65-49 in the Pitt 8 Tournament third-place game. The win showed Stuart’s improvement since last year, when it won the consolation championship.

The Lady Bulldogs went with a full-court defense throughout the first half. While that strategy produced several turnovers and fastbreak opportunities, it also left the Lady Bulldogs with fewer defenders downcourt whenever the Lady Hornets found a way to break the press.

That meant Stuart shooters like Barton, Kayla Smith and Megan Jernigen had fewer hands in their faces when they went to shoot. Barton at one point scored 7 consecutive points for Stuart in the first half, and seven of the Lady Hornets’ 12 first-half baskets were from behind the 3-point line.

Barton also came away with steals on back-to-back Savanna possessions in the first half, turning the first into a layup and a 5-4 Stuart lead. Stuart didn’t score immediately after Barton’s second steal, but it kept possession after the ball went out of bounds, and Barton then drained a 3-pointer for an 8-4 lead.

Savanna had to abandon its full-court defense in the second half, instead going half-court and using a box-and-1 defense to shut down Barton. Beck stepped up to fill the scoring void for Stuart, and with Savanna’s defense not forcing as many turnovers, the Lady Bulldogs’ offense couldn’t score enough points to hang with the Lady Hornets.

Barton finished with 24 points for Stuart. Beck scored 15, and Smith scored 13.

Jordin Wilson scored 14 for Savanna, and Destiny Raleigh scored 11. A year after winning the 2013 Pitt 8 Tournament, the Lady Bulldogs went 1-2 at the 2014 tournament.

Cowboys 73, Demons 39:

Shaking off their shocking loss to Haileyville on Thursday, the Kiowa Cowboys went back to doing what they do best against the Crowder Demons: Being the fastest five on the court, and feeding center Brice Smith.

Smith scored 27 points, and the Cowboys outscored the Demons in all four quarters to win the Pitt 8 Tournament third-place game, 73-39.

Kiowa led just 16-8 after the first quarter, the Cowboys’ own turnovers and mental mistakes hurting them far more than anything the Demons were doing. But as Kiowa cut down on its own turnovers in the second quarter, its high-speed defense started increasing Crowder’s.

Tristian McMath came away with two steals in rapid succession in the second quarter. He finished the first with a fastbreak layup, then on the second threw a behind-the-back pass to Brycen Overton for a layup.

McMath added a tip-in bucket in the second quarter, which ended with Kiowa guard Shay Calvert passing to Clay Doyle for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that made it 37-19 Kiowa at halftime. McMath scored 11 for Kiowa, and Doyle scored 10 — more than enough to complement Smith, who gave the Cowboys another dominating performance in the post.

Austin Weeks scored 17 for Crowder, but no other Demon scored in double digits. Kiowa also finished third in the 2013 Pitt 8 Tournament, but Crowder improved on last year’s performance, when it won the consolation championship.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.