By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
WAUKOMIS, Okla. —
More than an hour after the Lady Mustangs’ Class 2A District 1 playoff against Morrison had ended, Pioneer senior Shelby Flavell still hadn’t taken her jersey off.
When she finally did, it was for the last time as a player.
Flavell scored four points and snared a pair of offensive rebounds in a frantic final 90 seconds, but Morrison survived the Lady Mustangs’ last gasp to end Pioneer’s season, 46-42, Friday at Pioneer.
“I didn’t want it to end like that,” said Flavell, who was consoled by teammates and cheerleaders immediately after the game and shared a long hug with Pioneer coach Slade Young just before entering the locker room. “It happens.”
“She’s just such a great, great young lady, and a great leader,” Young said of his team’s only senior. “She gives it everything she has in practice and in games, it doesn’t make any difference. It’s going to be hard for her. She sold out, and those are the ones who care the most about the end product.”
Morrison (12-12) held the Lady Mustangs (8-15) scoreless for the first five minutes of the final quarter and held a 38-34 lead with 1:50 left, when Hope Yerian’s three-point attempt rimmed out and Lady Wildcats senior Andi Will converted a three-point play on the other end to complete a six-point swing to give her team its largest lead of the evening, 41-34, with 1:34 remaining in the game.
Flavell responded with a quick layup, Carli Woolsey stole the ensuing inbounds pass and split a pair of free throws to pull Pioneer back to within 41-37.
Morrison’s Jacey Bales missed the front-end of a one-and-one free throw trip, and Flavell streaked for another layup attempt, rebounding her own miss to earn two free throws, sinking both to narrow the gap to 41-39.
“I thought we were coming back,” Flavell said. “That’s probably the hardest we played all game. It could have been a lot different if we’d have just done some things right.”
Morrison scored the next five points, and by the time Woolsey buried her third three of the game to pull Pioneer back to within 46-42, only four seconds remained in the game, too little to complete the late rally.
Flavell scored a game-high 14 in her final game, and Woolsey added 13. Inselman led Morrison, which plays Alva at 6:30 p.m. tonight, with 13 to eliminate Pioneer in the district opener for the third straight season.
Pioneer doubled its win total from a season ago, and will lose only Flavell entering next season, a significant loss, Young said, but hopefully one that will give the Lady Mustangs a chance at more improvement in 2013-14.
“Losing Shelby, you can’t replace her … We lost a great one, but we’re young, and we’re getting a lot of experience.”
PIONEER 61, MORRISON 42 (B)
For the second time in five nights, Pioneer trampled visiting Morrison, Friday’s rendition a 61-42 rout that staved off elimination and set up a district final tonight against Alva.
Morrison, which lost to Pioneer 64-44 on Monday, kept within 12-8 following the first quarter as Justin Bearry matched his game average in one frame with four.
The Wildcats pulled to within 12-10 to open the second, but Pioneer (13-12) hit three on four straight possessions — Sage Lamunyon from the left corner, Nicholas Denker from the exact same spot, Brandon McNaughton from the right wing and Denker from the right corner — to lead 24-10, a double-digit advantage that never was challenged.
“It was ridiculous,” sophomore Colby Koontz said. “They came tonight. Nick had a great night shooting, and Blake had a great night shooting.”
Koontz scored six straight Pioneer points to close the half up 30-20.
Both teams started slowly in the third, each scoring only two halfway through the quarter. But Koontz scored six of his game-high 19, and Gabriel added six of his 18 as Pioneer again distanced itself from Morrison, leading 44-29 after three and coasting to the win.
“We’re definitely playing a lot better (than earlier this season),” said Denker, who scored eight. “There’s always room for improvement, but we’re definitely playing well right now.”
Kyle Collins and Jordan Quinata each scored 10 to lead Morrison (9-15), which was eliminated in the loss.
Pioneer, winners of 10 of its last 13, and now with a winning record for the first time this season, faces Alva at 8 tonight in a game where both teams already have earned regional berths. The Goldbugs have beaten Pioneer twice this season — 69-37 in the Wheat Capital Tournament on Jan. 10, and 62-47, Feb. 8 in Alva.
“We were in the game with them last time, but they’re good,” Pioneer coach Brandon Gallagher said. “They’re really, really good … We’ll have to play really well to stay in the game, and hopefully we will. We’re not conceding by any means.”