By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A 1-2 start wasn’t exactly what the Longhorns had hoped for, even if those losses were to No. 13 Alva and unranked-but-unbeaten Fairview.
But Danner Kiernan’s start certainly is.
Already one of the Longhorns’ leading scorers last season, Kiernan kicked his senior season off with 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting in a season-opening overtime win against Blackwell, and despite cooling slightly since that career night, has emerged as the top candidate to lead a Longhorn offense that entered with versatility, but not a surefire go-to scorer.
In three games, Kiernan is averaging 19.3 points on 40 percent shooting, the Longhorns’ best mark by almost nine points per game.
“Danner is one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever seen,” said Chisholm coach Cody Spurlock. “He hates losing, and I like the fact that he’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
So far, the 6-foot, 160-pound guard-forward has, adding to his team-best scoring rate 4.7 assists, six rebounds and 3.7 steals per game.
And his scoring acumen has in turn helped his teammates join the fray. When Alva stuck long, fleet-footed defender defender Riley Hess -- yes, that Riley Hess, the 6-foot-6, all-district and likely soon-to-be all-state Goldbug receiver -- on Kiernan and sent help defense with him, Trevor Galusha, an early pleasant surprise in his own right at 11.7 points per game, scored a season-high 15.
But can Kiernan be the guy all season?
“He can be,” Spurlock said. “But I think the more teams key on him like (Tuesday) against Alva, it gives opportunities for other people to step up. We talked about that earlier: The more people step up, the more it can be any guy on any given night.”
“I’ll do my best,” Kiernan said. “I think I can, but with how many guys we play, and how many guys are athletes, we really don’t need a go-to scorer. But if there’s ever a game and we need a scorer, I’ll be ready to take it. If (Spurlock) wants me to take it, I’ll be ready to go.”