Pacers, Plainsmen face tough regionals matchups

Enid's Telin Phillips goes up against Putnam City West's Malik Hearn Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at the Stride Bank Center. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — Putnam City West swept both the Enid Plainsmen and Pacers by double digits Tuesday night at Stride Bank Center.

The Lady Pirates overcame a first quarter deficit and defeated the Pacers., 62-36, while the Putnam City West boys used their perimeter shooting to roll the Plainsmen, 82-58.

In the days leading up to their game with No. 18 Putnam City West (12-9), head coach Curtis Foster told his Plainsmen (8-11) they needed to be aware of Pirate shooters Rondel Walker and Daylon Andrews.

Enid’s plan coming into Tuesday night was staying with those shooters on defense and not abandoning Walker or Andrews to assist with pressuring another ball-handler.

“The communication on the floor about what we needed to do on the floor wasn’t there,” Foster said. “We were supposed to be shouting out where those shooters are … and playing man up on them.”

Walker drained seven three-pointers and led Putnam City West with 29 points, while Andrews finished with 17. After leading Enid by only four points after the first quarter, Putnam City West was able to pull away from the Plainsmen and head into halftime with a 21-point lead.

That second quarter rally was led by Walker and Andrews. Aside from his two free throws, all of Walker's shots were from beyond the arc.

“You can see why he’s going to (Oklahoma State),” Foster said.

Andrews scored eight points, six of which came on drives to the net.

But open shooters were just one facet of Enid’s struggles. Unforced errors and turnovers were a few others. Putnam City West outscored the Plainsmen 12-2 near the end of the second quarter with nearly half of those points coming off of turnovers in Enid’s end of the court.

“Those were really big,” Foster said. “It’s one thing for (Putnam City West) to make a shot … it’s another thing to give up those layups to where they’re uncontested.”

Enid’s only lead came early in the first quarter with the Plainsmen holding a four-point lead before the Pirates ended the period with an 8-point rally.

Senior Carter Owens led Enid with 17 points. Fellow senior Telin Phillips finished with 13.

The Plainsmen have their last home game Saturday against No. 4 Lawton, a team Foster described as “even better” than Putnam City West.

“It doesn’t get any easier for these guys,” Foster said. “I told them these last five ball games were going to be playoff ball games. … These are the teams that are going to get you ready for the playoffs.”

Pacers let early lead slip

Before falling by 25 to No. 10 Putnam City West (12-6), the Enid Pacers (5-14) were in control of the game early.

After trailing 4-0, Enid rallied and eventually tied the game 6-6 before seeing sophomore Jayden Parker drain a bucket to give Enid an 8-6 lead. The Pacers took that lead into the second quarter and build up a four-point lead with less than five minutes before halftime.

But momentum shifted after junior Claire Dodds was called for her third foul. The Lady Pirates took the lead back after the foul and went on a15-point run before junior Mary Ketterman was able to break up the rally with a field goal.

Pacers head coach Nina Gregory said Enid’s offense had been taking too long to get the ball out of its own zone while the defense allowed the Lady Pirate offense time to set up plays.

“I told them, ‘You guys are playing like you’re down by 30 instead of playing like you’re up by (four points),” she said. “It’s just a mentality and that’s something that we’re working on changing.”

Gregory said the Pacers need to get to the point where they aren’t surprised when they’re up.

“And play like we’re supposed to be up,” she added.

Putnam City West held a 10-point lead at halftime and extended that lead to 27 by outscoring Enid 22-5. Enid committed more than 20 turnovers in the game, which helped contribute to a Putnam City West 15-0 run. Ketterman, again, broke up the Lady Pirate run with a field goal.

Ketterman led the Pacers with 13 points while Dodds finished with eight points.

Like the Plainsmen, the Enid girls face a difficult test in the final home game of the year as the Pacers will host No. 10 Lawton.

The Pacers tip-off at 6 p.m., followed by the Plainsmen at 7:15 p.m.

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Godfrey is sports writer for the Enid News & Eagle.
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