By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Alva didn’t hit its first two-point basket until almost seven minutes had passed, but when it came, it gave the Goldbugs a double-digit lead it never would surrender.
The 2A No. 10 Goldbugs hit six of eight threes in the first, cooling off only slightly over the next three quarters, draining 13 from distance and outpacing Pioneer 68-37 in the opening round of the Wheat Capital’s boys bracket Thursday at Chisholm High School’s Paul J. Outhier Field House.
“We’re a team that (if) it finds its rhythm, it’s going to make some shots,” said Alva head coach Paul Duncan. “Shooting is contagious both ways. You either make them or miss them.”
Pioneer opened the game in a 2-3 zone that stayed mostly inside the three-point line, and Goldbug senior Cody Forell took advantage, hitting a trio of deep threes to open Alva’s scoring, paving the way for long range hits from teammates Trevor Johnson, Ty Hooper and Reygan Martin. The barrage put Alva up 20-7 after facing an early 7-6 deficit and loosened Pioneer’s zone, giving enough room for the Goldbugs frontcourt around rangey Mustang forwards Colby Koontz and Blake Gabriel.
“We’ve got so many shooters on our team, and they start shooting and the ball starts going in,” said Forell, who finished with a game-high 15 points on five three pointers. “It’s just ball movement. Get the defense moving and it gets out of sorts a little bit, and (we) find open shooters.”
“Forell usually gets us started, hitting shots, and then everybody feeds off of that,” Duncan said. “The next thing you know, it’s flying.”
As Alva stayed hot in the first half, shooting 14-of-28 before intermission, Pioneer struggled to find the basket. Five turnovers spoiled the Mustangs’ four-for-eight shooting performance in the opening quarter, and they hit just two of 16 in the second quarter, scoring just four as Alva took a 37-13 lead that never was threatened.
Koontz hit Pioneer’s first three after 10 straight misses from deep, and a Sage Lamunyon attempt from deep in the third seemed only to highlight the Mustangs’ shooting woes, circling the rim three times before dribbling out.
“We really weren’t intense enough, and that happens sometimes,” said Pioneer coach Brandon Gallagher, whose team finished hitting two threes on 20 attempts. “I thought we kind of got intimidated after they started making some of those. The second half, we came out and competed a little better, and that’s all we’re asking right now.”
Lane Madseon, Cade Pfleider and Johnson each scored 10 for the Goldbugs (8-2), who play Kingfisher at 7:30 p.m. in the championship semifinal. Gabriel finished with 14 and Koontz fought off double teams throughout to score 12 points, adding three blocks for Pioneer (2-7), which faces host Chisholm at 2:30 p.m.
In other first-round boys games:
No. 18 Blackwell 51, Guymon 38
Blackwell smothered Guymon in the opening quarter to take a 13-2 lead, and the Tigers never could close the gap, falling to the top-seeded Maroons, 51-38.
Guy Wooderson scored 23 and Colton Demuth added 17 for Blackwell (8-1, No. 18 in 4A), which is back on the winning track after having its seven-game run snapped by Alva on Tuesday. Marco Rodriguez scored 10 for Guymon (3-7), which will play Perry at 11:50 a.m. Blackwell will face third- seed Fairview at 5:10 p.m. in the championship semifinals.
No. 13 Fairview 47, Perry 39
Perry junior Kale Hixon scored a game-high 20, but Fairview’s furious fourth quarter was too much for the Maroons, as the Yellowjackets advanced to the Wheat Capital’s semifinal round, 47-39.
Grant Nightengale led Fairview (9-2) with 16 points, and fellow senior Bryce Kippenberger added 10 for the Yellowjackets, ranked 13th in 2A. Jacob Albritton and Shaheem Turner each added eight for Perry (7-4).
Fairview, the field’s third seed, will play top-seed Blackwell in the semifinals at 5:10 p.m., and sixth-seeded Perry will play eighth seed Guymon at 11:50 a.m.
No. 11 Kingfisher 68, Chisholm 32
Host boys Chisholm played within a basket of 3A No. 11 Kingfisher after one, but couldn’t stay close down the stretch as the Yellow Jackets (6-1) advanced to the tournament’s semifinal round, 68-32.
The Longhorns (3-8) were down 11-9 after one, but a 20-7 second quarter paved the way for the rout as Landon Nault scored 11 to lead 10 Yellow Jackets scorers to send their team to a 7:50 p.m. semifinal tilt with second-seed Alva.
Caleb Lang scored 13 to lead Chisholm, which will face Pioneer at 2:30 p.m.