By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Bryson Rolfe outplayed Watonga’s bigger bigs, siblings Trevor and Megan Galusha combined for 12 steals in two games, and for the second time in as many nights, the Lady Longhorns got more than half their points from underclassmen as Chisholm earned its third home sweep of the season Friday at Paul J. Outhier Field House.
Rolfe scored a career-high 18 points on six-of-nine shooting in the boys’ nightcap, weaving around a rangey Watonga frontcourt to pace the Longhorns in a 68-55 win that snapped a three-game losing streak.
“It’s an every-game kind of thing for me; everybody’s always bigger than me,” said Rolfe, a 6-foot-2 junior who Friday played against an Eagle rotation of bigs who each topped 6-foot-5. “Just have to block them out and work harder.”
Chisholm (9-13) led 29-22 at half behind nine second-quarter points from senior Austin Grieshober and took control in the third.
Watonga (8-14) scored two quick baskets to pull within 29-26 to open the second half, but Chisholm responded with full-court pressure, forcing four straight turnovers to key a 9-0 run. Watonga’s Brennan Lafferty snapped the run on a runner to cut the Longhorns’ lead to 38-28, but another Chisholm spurt effectively put the Longhorns’ penultimate regular season game out of reach.
Trevor Galusha had two of his game-high seven steals on back-to-back possessions, capping another 8-2 Chisholm run on the other end with two Rolfe free throws and a Galusha assist to Danner Kiernan to push the lead to 46-30, the Longhorns’ largest of the night.
“We’ve had several games this year where we’d have a good half and then a bad third (quarter),” said Chisholm boys coach Cody Spurlock. “We wanted to have a good four quarters tonight… It was just a conscious effort to not come out flat after halftime.”
Watonga cut its deficit to 50-41 with consecutive layups from Wyatt Johnson to close the third quarter, but came no closer. Kiernan capped a 6-2 Chisholm run to open the fourth with another layup, and the Eagles couldn’t narrow the margin to single digits again, the Longhorns hitting 14 of 21 free throws in the second half to stay comfortably ahead.
Chisholm and Watonga entered the game in the midst of similar struggles. Both were 8-13 before Friday, the Eagles coming off losses in seven of their last nine with the loss extending their losing streak to four games. Chisholm earned a win against area rival Pioneer on Feb. 7, but the upset was the Longhorns’ only positive result in eight games.
“Coming off that (losing) streak, we just kind of needed to get momentum going into Monday’s game (against Oklahoma Bible Academy) and Friday against Perkins,” said Rolfe, whose previous high was 16 points. “We’re almost there. We’ve just got to tie up a few loose ends.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Longhorns pushed a season-high streak to five wins on Friday, pulling away from Watonga late in a 71-52 win, with 38 of their points coming from freshmen Bailey Brown (20) and Kaylee Petersen (11) and sophomore Kammi Gruber (7) a night after Brown and Pedersen combined for 39 points in a win against Tonkawa.
Chisholm (14-8) never trailed after a Kaci McCary-fueled run in the second, the junior scoring seven points in a 10-3 run to break a 20-20 deadlock in the second, but took complete control early in the fourth.
Watonga (9-13) hit back-to-back threes to start the fourth, dicing a nine-point Chisholm lead entering the final frame to 49-46, but Megan Galusha scored an easy layup after one of her five steals to cap another 10-3 run to give Chisholm a 56-46 lead, and after Watonga pulled back to within 56-48, the Lady Longhorns scored 11 straight to take a 67-48 lead and effectively put the game out of reach with 2:56 left.
Galusha finished with 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting and McCary had 11 points for the Lady Longhorns, who seem to be peaking at the right time with a district-round game against Perkins-Tryon a week away.
“We’ve got a lot of freshmen that are getting playing time,” said Chisholm girls coach Terry Middleton. “There’s a big difference between eighth-grade and varsity basketball … the more you play, the better you get.”
Chisholm’s girls can push their season-best run into the playoffs with a win in their final regular-season game 6:30 p.m. Monday against visiting crosstown rival Oklahoma Bible Academy, the boys following at 8, on Chisholm’s senior night.