The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

February 27, 2014

NOC Enid notches sweep in home closer

ENID, Okla. — Ben Berry wasn’t going to go out a loser on Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s Sophomore Night.

Berry hit four key free throws in the last 1:47 and had a key rebound as the Jets posted a 67-63 win over Western Thursday.

Rylie Swanson, playing her last game as a Lady Jet, had 19 points as NOC Enid also won the women’s game 68-49.

The men (21-7, 12-6) assured themselves at least a No. 3 seed for next week’s regionals. The women (17-11, 10-8) will be the No. 4 or No. 5 seed.

The two men’s teams had 27 turnovers in the second half — the Jets 14 and the Pioneers 13. Western didn’t help its cause by hitting only one of 10 free throws in the second half.

“It was an ugly win, but it’s still a win,’’ Berry said. “I don’t feel like either team could get in rhythm. There were a lot of foul calls and a lot of dead ball calls from the refs. I’m not saying they weren’t doing their jobs, but sometimes I wish they would let us play more.’’

Berry was fouled while rebounding a missed free throw by Dii’Jon Allen-Jordan with 13.2 seconds left. Allen-Jordan was trying to complete a three-point play, which would have cut the Jet lead to 65-64.

Berry completed a 14-point night by hitting both free throws. Najee Senior missed a three-pointer in the final seconds.

“I actually told both guys at the line to block the shooter out because my guy wasn’t going to get past me,’’ Berry said. “When I was at the line, I just kept telling myself that I was going to make it.’’

The Jets, down 36-35 at halftime, opened the second half on a 13-2 run to take a 48-38 lead after a dunk by Corey Alpough with 15:43 left.

The Pioneers got to within two points three times in the last 2:13, but the Jets always had an answer.

“I hate to lose, and we have some guys who hate to lose,’’ Berry said. “We had some fight in us.’’

The Jets were only 12 of 25 from the line in the first half, Western never trailed.

“We got chewed out in the locker room,’’ Berry said about the second half spurt. “We had some anger flying around and we took it out on them.’’

Ja’Wan Smith led the Jets with 18 points, followed by Berry with14 and Alpough with 10. Smith kept the Jets in the game early with 13 first-half points. He was five-of-six from the field.

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