The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 26, 2013

Enid starts strong, falters late in 72-54 loss to No. 2 Midwest City

Enid News and Eagle

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. — The Enid Plainsmen drew even with second-ranked and unbeaten Midwest City after one quarter Thursday in the Mid-Del Holiday Tournament, but were outscored 55-37 over the final three frames to lose their sixth straight to open the season, 72-54.

Enid exploited a trap- and press-heavy Midwest City defense in the first, riding a 13-2 run after an early deficit to take a 13-7 lead. The score was tied at 17 entering the second.

“We were hitting shots early,” said Enid coach Ryan Wilkinson. “They were trying to trap us, and it’s something we were working on (before the game). We were getting the same looks in the second, we just weren’t making them.”

The Plainsmen went scoreless for most of the second quarter as Midwest City (5-0) continued its own hot streak, outscoring Enid 18-5 to take a 35-22 halftime lead that was never threatened.

“We just went cold,” Wilkinson said.

Thursday’s was Wilkinson’s first stab at a small-ball starting lineup, a move he said was partially motivated by Midwest City’s own guard-heavy game, but was something he would consider in the future after a strong start.

Marcus Moore, Braden Rogers, Raeshaan Finley and Donovan Kuhlman — all guards under 6 feet — started around 6-foot-6 forward Devon Edwards.

“It’s a small test size, but we looked initially better with a smaller lineup, so it’s something we may look at,” Wilkinson said.

Edwards scored six of his team-high 14 in the first, and Finley added 12 for the Plainsmen (0-6), who play the home-schooled Oklahoma City Storm and star guard Chauncey Collins, who is verbally committed to TCU, at 3:30 p.m. today.

“They’re a good team,” Wilkinson said. “He’s a very good player.”