Enid News and Eagle
WOODWARD, Okla. —
Sophomore Andi Pierce led the 16th-ranked Pacers for the second time in as many games with 18 points, and the Enid Pacers pulled away from a two-plus-quarter back and forth with host Woodward on Tuesday for a 53-45 win.
Pierce scored 11 of her 18 after halftime, hitting six fourth-quarter free throws to keep the Class 4A Boomers at arm’s length down the stretch.
“I definitely think (Pierce) is capable of that,” Enid coach Robb Mills said. “I hope she’s able to do that every night.”
Enid (2-0) recovered from another slow start on Tuesday after shooting 11-for-44 in a season-opening win Friday against Elk City, trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter to Woodward. But the Pacers scored seven straight points on putbacks by Grace Enmeier and a Pierce three-pointer tied the game at 14.
The Pacers scored nine straight in the third quarter, pushing their lead to 29-24 on an Abby Lee bucket and never lost a lead that grew to as many as eight points.
Enid scored 33 in the second half on Tuesday — one point fewer than the Pacers tallied in regulation of their overtime win over Elk City in their opener.
“We started really slow, but after that first quarter we really settled in,” Mills said. “We quit turning the ball over and forcing things ... That comes with playing and playing together.”
Haven Bay scored all 10 of her points after halftime and Lee finished with nine for the Pacers, who open play in the Talequah Tournament Thursday against Coweta.
WOODWARD 55, PLAINSMEN 51
The Plainsmen played — and nearly won — a three-quarter game of catchup Tuesday at 4A Woodward, but never could completely close an early double-digit deficit in a 55-51 loss.
Braden Rogers scored on a putback halfway through the fourth quarter to narrow a wire-to-wire deficit to 46-44, and after a Woodward three, Raeshaan Finley answered to draw Enid (0-2) within 49-46. However, back-to-back Enid turnovers clipped the late rally, and when Rogers scored on another putback with fewer than 10 seconds left to give Enid one last gasp at 53-51, two free throws by Woodward’s Kale Hixon gave the Boomers a clinching four-point lead.
The game didn’t seem headed to a close finish early on.
Rogers’ three gave the Plainsmen an early 7-3 lead, but 16th-ranked Woodward raced out to a 19-2 run that carried over into the second quarter and gave the Boomers an advantage that ballooned to as many as 13 points.
“Part of it is we were looking to mix up defenses on makes and misses,” said Enid coach Ryan Wilkinson. “We did it all right in practice, but game situations are a little bit different ... We were getting some confusion there on what we were running defensively, and that probably cost us four or five buckets.”
The Plainsmen recovered midway through the second quarter, pulling to within 25-17 on three-pointer from Finley, but were outscored 8-5 to close the half trailing 33-22.
Enid pulled to within 43-37 after three quarters to set up its near miss in the fourth, but never did level the score after a 20-9 first that was reminiscent of the Plainsmen’s third quarter in their season opener against Elk City, when they were outscored 28-8.
“The overlying theme for both these games is we’ve played six pretty good quarters out of our eight,” Wilkinson said. “It’s just one quarter in each one of these games that hindered us from what we want to be doing.”
Rogers scored a team-high 13 for Enid and Finley and Marcus Moore each added 11 for the Plainsmen, who open play in the Talequah Tournament at 11:30 a.m. Thursday against host Talequah.