By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Dylan Koehn didn’t break on to the scoresheet until the fourth quarter, but when he did, the Texhoma sophomore delivered the final, decisive blows to No. 14 Garber’s 2012-13 season, hitting all 10 of his fourth quarter free throws as the Red Devils quashed a late Wolverine rally to defeat Garber 62-58 Friday at Chisholm Trail Expo Center Coliseum.
Jordan Avants led a desperate fourth-quarter comeback, scoring 15 of his game-high 22 points to pull Garber to within three points on three occasions in the frame after the Wolverines trailed 45-35 after three.
Avants hit two free throws with 1:31 remaining to cut the lead to 53-50. After stalling for 45 seconds, Texhoma senior Collbran Larsen rebounded a miss from teammate Bryson Beattie and converted a three-point play after being fouled on the putback to push the Red Devil lead to 56-50.
Avants hit two threes in the final 15 seconds, each time pulling Garber to within a possession. A final Avants three with three seconds left pulled Garber to within 60-58, the closest the Wolverines had come in the second half, but Koehn hit his final two free throws to give Texhoma a 62-58 lead and seal the game.
“I just put the pain away and stepped up when I needed to,” said Koehn, who typically starts for Texhoma, but came off the bench because he’s still recovering from a knee injury suffered last week in Seiling. “It’s a good feeling. You always want to be in that position to cinch the game. It’s what you want.”
“He toughed it out,” said Texhoma coach Greg Higgins. “He hit 10-for-10. That’s pretty sweet.”
Garber seemed ready to take control of the game in the second quarter.
Jeremy Newton, Garber’s 6-foot-8 senior center, hit three of his first six shots, scoring an easy six in the first quarter against Larsen, his 6-foot-2 counterpart.
Dallas Hunt snared his second steal of the opening frame for an easy layup and added a three at the buzzer to give Garber an 18-16 lead after the first, and Hunt pushed the lead to 24-19 on another steal and layup early in the second.
But Nathan Kniting answered with a four-point play, hitting a deep three through a Newton foul to cut the lead to 24-23 and signal the start of an 18-1 run that lasted until the 5:38 mark of the third, when Texhoma had a 37-25 lead.
Hunt finished with 13 and Newton added 12 with six rebounds and three blocks, but missed seven of nine shots after his quick start for Garber (19-8).
Kniting led the Red Devils with 20, and Beattie added 17 for Texhoma (19-9), which plays Laverne today in a 3 p.m. consolation semifinal. Laverne beat Beaver 44-41 on Friday, and have defeated the Red Devils twice in a row after an early season loss.
SEILING 56, WAUKOMIS 42 (G)
Seiling’s Makayla Tate scored a game-high 23 points to extend her high school basketball career, and the Lady Cats ended Waukomis’ season for the second straight year in the area round, 56-42, Friday at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center.
Top Waukomis scorers Alexa Harris and Sadie Perry were held largely in check in the final game of their careers, arguably the most successful four-year class in Waukomis history.
The duo — which on average accounts for 30 points per game — combined to score just four in the first half and 13 in the game, and were stymied almost wire-to-wire by Seiling’s triangle-and-two defense.
“They (focused) on me and Sadie, and everybody expected that,” said Harris, who scored 10 and finished with a team-best five rebounds. “We played our hearts out. We gave it all. There’s not much you can do about shots not falling.”
Tate took her own steal and ran the length of the floor to give Seiling its largest lead of the game at 24-17 after an 11-5 run late in the second quarter. Mackenna Mack capped the second frame — which finished without any Lady Chief starters scoring a point — to pull Waukomis to within 24-19, but her team never came closer.
Waukomis opened the second half with two straight turnovers and a missed shot as Kaci Livingston and Morgan Marks scored easy baskets on backdoor cuts to push Seiling’s lead to 28-19. The Lady Cats shot 7-for-10 from the floor and hit three of four free throws in the third and Kelsie Pethoud hit a three to give Seiling its first double-digit lead, 36-25, with 3:10 left in the quarter.
Tate hit a jumper and Marks completed a three-point play to open the fourth and gave the Lady Cats a 47-30 lead the Waukomis couldn’t challenge.
“The second quarter, we started falling apart a little bit, and you could see it coming,” said Waukomis coach Matt Cue. “It was kind of like an avalanche coming down a hill. The backdoor stuff, we tried to over-help on (Tate), and she stepped up in the second half like we thought she would.”
Marks finished with 17 and Pethoud added eight for Seiling (16-10), which advances to play Texhoma in the Class A Area 1 consolation semifinal at 1:30 p.m. today. Texhoma eliminated Cashion with a 51-28 win on Friday.
Kaity Kokojan scored a team-high 12 for Waukomis (19-10) in her final game, a loss which also closed the careers of seniors Deborah Jones and Kacie Mack.
“I think their overall record was 70-37 the four years that they played for me,” Cue said. “They got better every year. There’s nothing to hang their heads about. We hadn’t been to the area tournament since 1998, and we went back-to-back, so these seniors, there’s nothing to hang their heads about.”