Enid News and Eagle
LAWTON, Okla. —
Freshman Andi Pierce celebrated her return Friday to the Pacers’ lineup with a season-high 13 points as Enid defeated Lawton 49-41.
The Plainsmen made it a sweep for Enid in the nightcap, hanging on for a 56-54 win over Lawton in the boys game behind a season-high 18 points from junior forward Michael Majors.
The Pacers’ victory was their fourth straight, and eighth in the last nine games, raising the seventh-ranked Pacers’ record to 17-3. The win completed a two-game sweep for the Pacers against the Lady Wolverines in the season series. Enid previously defeated Lawton 51-32 on Dec. 15 in the teams’ first meeting at the Mabee Center.
Lawton fell to 3-17 in losing its ninth straight game.
Pierce, a starter, had missed the previous six games after suffering a concussion and shoulder injury in a four-wheeler accident. She had not played since Enid’s 58-40 victory at Ponca City on Jan. 18. She was averaging 7.4 points per game before her injury and nearly matched her season average in the first quarter with seven points.
“She had a great game,” said Enid head coach Robb Mills. “It looked like she wasn’t even thinking about her shoulder and she said afterward that it wasn’t bothering her. She was a big offensive spark for us.”
After battling its way to a slim 23-20 lead at halftime, Enid began to get some separation from the Lady Wolverines, opening up as much as a 13-point lead by early in the fourth period, 40-27, but Lawton battled back with a 7-0 run to close Enid’s lead to 40-34 midway through the fourth quarter until Pacers’ leading scorer Courtney Chelf took over.
Chelf, who had a game-high 16 points on the night, scored all of Enid’s fourth quarter points after a quiet first half as the Pacers put the game away.
“They were really paying attention to Courtney with the box-and-one in the first half, but she got it going in the fourth quarter,” Mills said.
Joining Pierce and Chelf in double-figure scoring was Haven Bay, who had 12 points.
“I am definitely happy to get the win,” said Mills. “Now that we have all the pieces back, we feel pretty good about things heading down the stretch.”
The Pacers remain in Lawton for a rematch against Lawton Eisenhower at 3:30 p.m. today.
“That’s going to be a tough game (today) against Eisenhower,” Mills said. “Their size causes a lot of problems.” The Pacers defeated Eisenhower 32-31 on Dec. 14 in Enid.
Enid 56, Lawton 54 (B)
The Plainsmen avenged an early-season loss to the Wolverines, earning their fourth win in their last five games to improve to 8-12 on the season. Lawton dropped to 10-12 with the loss.
Enid twice built double-digit leads in the contest, including leading 51-41 with 3:33 left in the game, but a 9-0 Wolverines run made it 51-50 before the Plainsmen, behind Majors and Aaron Austin, who scored 12 points, and a key basket from Raeshaan Finley, pushed their lead to 55-50.
However, Lawton still had a chance to tie the game or take the lead when it got the ball back off of a Deon Parker turnover with eight seconds remaining and trailing 56-54. But a shot just before the buzzer was off the mark and the Plainsmen escaped with the win.
Majors was a key factor all night for the Plainsmen both scoring and on the offensive glass, with several of his points coming on putbacks.
“He’s been playing better as the year has gone on,” said Plainsmen head coach Ryan Wilkinson about Majors. “ He’s been improving. It definitely was his best game.”
The Wolverines were led in scoring by Tevin Foster with 18 points, but found themselves having to mount several comebacks in a game the Plainsmen controlled throughout much of the contest.
“We did a good job of playing to win and not playing to not lose,” said Wilkinson.
Enid opened up a five-point halftime lead on a Finley bucket just before the buzzer and then began the third quarter on a 7-0 run to go up by 12 points, 34-22.
However, a 10-0 Lawton run narrowed Enid’s lead to 34-32, but as they did all night, the Plainsmen responded and eventually built up leads of 12 and 10 points in the fourth quarter before Lawton made its final push. Enid never trailed in the second half and was a near-perfect 14 of 15 from the free throw line.
Wilkinson also saw tonight’s win as a character builder.
“Whenever you are in a hostile environment and pull out a victory, it can only boost your confidence,” he said
The Plainsmen will try to exact another measure of revenge today when they take on Lawton Eisenhower at 5 p.m. The Eagles downed the Plainsmen 71-66 in their first meeting Dec. 14 at the Mabee Center.