By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Raeshaan Finley wanted a chance to convince Enid coach Ryan Wilkinson to keep him as a regular in the starting lineup, the coach mulling the move to get more from the Plainsmen guard.
Finley didn’t disappoint.
Wilkinson got what he wanted from the senior on Friday, and the Plainsmen got their first-ever win at the Enid Event Center, hammering rival Ponca City 56-38 behind Finley’s season-high 23 points and nine rebounds.
“He wanted to prove that he was capable,” Wilkinson said. “He wanted to do that, and he came out and had a great game.”
Enid (2-12) finished 19-for-37 from the floor against Ponca City, including seven of 13 from three, and never trailed, opening on an 8-2 run as the Wildcats (3-9) missed nine of their first 10 attempts from the field. Ponca City’s shooting slump extended to halftime, hitting just three of 22 attempts from the floor to trail 23-10 at half.
Finley, who finished 9-of-12 from the field, scored seven points in the first two minutes of the third, extending the Enid lead to 30-14. He finished with 12 in the quarter, and nipped a 6-0 Ponca City run to open the fourth with an and-one layup after the Wildcats closed the gap to 40-29, keeping the Plainsmen’s advantage in double digits, where it would stay, getting high as 20 points.
Braden Rogers scored 10 points, and Marcus Moore had five points and two assists in his first game back after missing a game with a knee injury. Michael Majors had just one point, but a game-high 12 rebounds for Enid, which came in having played 12 straight road games.
The win improved Enid to 2-2 in its last four games, a get-right period for the team after an 0-10 start and a much-needed source of momentum leading into today’s 5 p.m. game against No. 11 Lawton-Eisenhower, a makeup from the teams’ Dec. 20 game that was postponed by winter weather.
“I say they needed it, but we haven’t even been down on ourselves,” Wilkinson said. “They still seem pretty positive, and I think we’re smart enough to see when we’re playing good and playing smart and have intensity, we’ve played well, even against good teams. It’s good to get a win — it’s never bad — but I feel like they never gave up on themselves.”
Still, Friday’s win had spirits high, Finley’s so much so that the senior hinted at another win today too.
“We needed this a lot,” he said. “It’s gonna help us get on a winning streak.”
Pacers 52, Ponca City 30
Andi Pierce scored 15 points, Grace Enmeier had nine points and a game-high seven rebounds on the same night she won homecoming queen, and the 16th-ranked Pacers easily handled Ponca City 52-30 Friday at the Enid Event Center.
Enid (8-3) led 9-7 after the first quarter, but held the Lady Cats scoreless from the field in the second. The Pacers opened the quarter on a 12-2 run capped by a Pierce three, and went on to outscore Ponca City 21-5 in the frame to lead 30-12 at intermission.
“We wanted to finish the game on defense,” said Enid coach Robb Mills. “We couldn’t score in the third quarter for a while, and I told the girls, finish on defense, and this one’s still gonna be ours, up by 18 half. It just opened up after that because they got frustrated with our defense.”
Enid stumbled to start the third quarter, starting 1-for-8, with six turnovers to fuel a 9-2 Ponca City run that trimmed Enid’s advantage to 32-21.
But Enid doubled up the Lady Cats in the fourth, leading by as much as 24 along the way.
Haven Bay finished with 10 points for Enid, and Abby Lee added eight. Cheyenne Hull scored nine to lead Ponca City, which fell to 5-7 with its fifth loss in six games.
The win put Enid in position to beat three straight 6A opponents when the Pacers host Lawton Eisenhower at 3:30 p.m. today. The 20th-ranked Lady Eagles will give Enid a third chance at beating a ranked 6A team, the Pacers losing their two previous opportunities in double-digit defeats by 11th-ranked Yukon and sixth-ranked Muskogee.
“That’s huge,” said Pierce, who shot 5-for-11. “We need that win (against Eisenhower) a lot, especially losing to two ranked teams already. If we can do that, it’d be a big accomplishment for us. It’ll pay off in the long run.’
“We’re in a good place,” Mills said. “but tomorrow’s gonna be a dogfight.”