By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
After a back-and-forth opening half, Chisholm’s boys basketball team suffocated an inexperienced Mustangs lineup in the final two quarters, outscoring host Pioneer 30-17 to key a 59-42 win Friday.
Chisholm held a 29-25 lead after the second quarter, with Pioneer staying close, thanks to nine points on three three-pointers from Nicholas Denker.
In the third, Pioneer missed its first nine shots, finally hitting from the field with 2:05 left in the frame to stop a 12-1 Longhorns run.
The Mustangs scored 10 of the next 12 to pull within 43-36 to open the fourth, but struggled again early in the final quarter, missing six of its first seven attempts from the floor to open the door for another Chisholm run, this time a 12-2 stretch that all but snuffed the Mustangs’ hopes for a rally.
“We couldn’t come out flat,” said Chisholm senior guard Brandon Meier. “Games are won in the third quarter. We just had to come out with intensity, match theirs and beat their intensity.”
Apparently, that’s what it took.
“They came out and they really played intense,” said Pioneer coach Brandon Gallagher. “They outplayed us pretty much everywhere.”
Eight Chisholm players scored in the game, three of them in double figures led by Caleb Lang’s 13.
“That’s what we’re going to need this year to be successful,” said Meier, who finished with 10. “We’re going to have different guys score. They’re going to have to stop more than on guy.”
“That’s exactly what I want,” said Chisholm coach Cody Spurlock, who was an assistant on last season’s five-win team before winning his debut as head coach on Friday. “I’ve been talking with them about being a team, and that’s a team win. You don’t just count on one person to do all the scoring. Everyone chips in.”
Reid Weber scored 10 points, Bryson Rolfe chipped in 7 and Danner Kiernan had 6 for the Longhorns.
Pioneer, which entered the game having graduated all five starters from last season’s 26-3 team, played without top returner, Colby Koontz. The 6-foot-8 sophomore averaged 6.1 points and 6.2 rebounds last season, but is out until at least Christmas with an elbow injury.
Pioneer’s new-look lineup showed flashes, but still needs seasoning, Gallagher said.
“They have to learn that the game is an intense one, and you can’t be nonchalant about how you do things,” he said. “You’ve got to fight every possession.”
Blake Gabriel scored 16 to lead Pioneer, Denker finished with 12 points on four threes and Brandon McNaughton added 10.
Chisholm 54,Pioneer 32 (G)
Chisholm’s girls held Pioneer to single digits in all four quarters, answering each with double figures of their own in cruising to a season-opening win against the host Lady Mustangs 54-32.
Sophomore forward Morgan Lawver paced the Lady Longhorns early, scoring 11 of her team’s first 12 points on four-of-four shooting from the field in the opening quarter.
Chisholm took its first double-digit lead early in the second quarter when Faith Mirelez’s driving layup put her team up 18-8, and never looked back in the wire-to-wire victory.
“For our first game out, we’ve got some stuff we need to work on, but it’s good to see it against other people with the fans and everything around,” Chisholm coach Terry Middleton said.
Megan Galusha took over the scoring load after the opening frame, scoring 13 of her 15 points in the final three minutes to pace the Lady Longhorns and keep Pioneer at arm’s length throughout.
“She’s not bad,” Middleton joked of the sophomore guard’s performance. “I’ve known what I’ve had with her for quite a while now. She’s a special player. She’s just one of those girls that makes it all go. She’s really quiet about it, but she’s fun to watch.”
Kammi Gruber finished with 10 points for Chisholm, Baylee Hammons added 7 and Mirelez added 5.
Lexsie Mann was Pioneer’s only scorer in double digits, finishing with 10 on a night the Lady Mustangs never got comfortable, shooting 11-of-39 with 17 turnovers.