Plainsmen rally comes up short against Bixby; Pacers rout Grant

Enid's Cam Mathis puts up a shot between Bixby's Preston Solomon and D.C. Harris during the second day of the Enid High School Holiday Classic Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, at the Stride Bank Center.

ENID, Okla. — Bixby freshman Parker Friedrichsen hit both ends of a one-and-one with 10 seconds left as the Spartans held off a late Enid rally, 65-61 in the boys semifinals of the Enid Holiday Classic Friday night.

The Plainsmen (6-4) will face Hoops for Christ at 2 p.m. Saturday in the third-place game. Bixby faces Sand Springs — a 50-44 winner over HFC — at 8 p.m. for the championship.

The Plainsmen — down 61-51 with 2:58 remaining — cut the lead to two twice (61-59 and 63-61) in 30 seconds but Friedrichsen calmly hit the two free throws to put the game away. Free throws would be the Plainsmen's Achilles heel as they were only three of 14 from the charity stripe. Bixby was eight of 14.

"That's the difference,'' said Enid head coach Curtis Foster. "Every game that we lost this year, that has been the difference in the game. If we had made free throws, we would have come out on the top side of the ballgame.''

Friedrichsen, who had 21 points in leading Bixby to a 39-34 halftime lead, only managed the two free throws in the second half as he was shut down by the defense of Telin Phillips. Cyson Mathis led Enid with 20 points, followed by Cam Mathis with a season-high 19 and Carter Owens with 14. The Plainsmen forced 20 turnovers — 14 in the second half. Cam Mathis had nine points in the fourth quarter, including the three-pointer which brought the Plainsmen to within 61-59 and concluded an 8-0 EHS run. Freshman Luke Hasz scored on a court-long pass to bring the Spartans back up to four.

"I thought we competed hard and played hard and fought a good team so it's no embarrassment for my kids to walk off the court tonight,'' Foster said. "We have another tough game (Saturday). We got to get our heads up and pick our butts up and be ready to go,.''

Foster praised the defense on Friedrichsen, who hit five treys in the first half.

"We changed some things up,'' Foster said. "We couldn't jump into it in the first half because he's (Bixby coach Sam Fairchild) is going to make some adjustments about what we're doing on the floor. We caught them in a surprise and took the kid out of the game a little bit.''

ENID PACERS 71, U.S. GRANT 6

The Pacers set a school record by holding the Lady Generals to only two field goals (2 of 15) and two free throws (2 of 10) in a 71-6 rout. Enid (3-7) will face Lawton (2-5) — a 41-30 winner over Hoops for Christ — at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the consolation finals.

Enid had quarter leads of 22-0, 41-1 and 61-1 in a game where a running clock was initiated early in the third period. The Lady Generals didn't score from the field until Breya Smith connected with 4:17 remaining. U.S. Grant had 41 turnovers, including 21 in the first period.

Mya Edwards (19), Claire Dodds (18) and Lanie Goins (13) were all in double figures for the Pacers. EHS head coach Nina Gregory said the Pacers need to translate the effort against the weaker Lady Generals to other tougher opponents.

"We played really hard when we know they can't handle the pressure,'' she said. "When we play somebody else, we are uncertain, timid and not as aggressive. I know we didn't play that aggressive last night (in a 59-33 loss to Green Country) for sure. We need to play this way day in and day out.''

The Pacers let off the pressure in the second half, which they used as more of a practice to "work on little things.'' EHS suited up only nine players.

Dodds pleased Gregory with five layups after intermission.

"She attacked the rim more, which is great for her,'' Gregory said. "She has always been a shooter. She is working on handling the ball more and attacking the rim. It's good for her to see the ball go through the rim. She can tell herself 'I can finish, I can attack.'''

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Campbell is a former sports writer and current part-time writer for the News & Eagle, enidnews@enidnews.com.

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Graduate of Oklahoma City John Marshall (1972) and University of Oklahoma. Been at News & Eagle since June 19, 1978. Previously worked at Oklahoma Journal, Midland, Texas Reporter & Telegram, Norman Transcript, Elk City Daily News

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