The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 8, 2012

Parker leads Plainsmen over Sapulpa in consolation finals

By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —  Senior guard Deon Parker scored a career-high 19 and the Enid boys basketball team rode a hot second quarter to breeze past Sapulpa 64-51 in the Tahlequah Invitational’s fifth-place game Friday.

“I just had a good game,” said Parker, who also scored 11 in Friday’s win against Muskogee. “I hadn’t played well in previous games, and tonight was just one of those games.”

Parker, whose previous scoring high was 14 points, tallied six of his 19 points in the second quarter.

Aaron Austin scored six, Darnae Banks added five and Jemarcus Jackson had four in the frame, which behind four three-pointers gave Enid a 39-29 halftime lead.

“We had a pretty comfortable lead for most of the game,” coach Ryan Wilkinson said. “They would go on a couple runs, and we would come back and answer.”

Sapulpa never came closer than six points, and the Plainsmen won their second straight to pull even on the season at 2-2. The win, and Enid’s first win streak of 2012-13, are indicative of a steadily-improving rotation that, while composed mostly of seniors, hasn’t been the primary group before this season, Wilkinson said.

“We know that these guys can play at a really high level when they play together,” the second-year coach said, adding “It’s just the consistency that they haven’t gotten. Their basketball IQ isn’t great at some times … when you really have to pay attention to time and score situations.”

Jackson finished with 16, Austin scored 12 after a season-high 16 on Friday, and Banks finished with 10 for the Plainsmen, who take their two-game streak to the Mabee Center Friday against visiting Lawton-Eisenhower.

“I feel like we’re playing a lot better,” Parker said. “We’ll only get better as the season goes on.”