WAUKOMIS, Okla. —
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.”