Enid Outlaws head coach Ed Corporal talks with his team during a timeout Sunday at Stride Bank Center. (Reese Becker / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — The Enid Outlaws opened the 2023 TBL home slate Sunday at Stride Bank Center, falling to the TBL’s newest team, the Wichita Skyline, 95-89.

“I feel like I have to apologize to the people of Enid for how we played tonight,” said Outlaws coach Ed Corporal. “We are going to be better.”

The Outlaws started the game behind the eight ball, falling behind 25-21 late in the first quarter, before going on a 3-0 run to close the gap at the end of the quarter to a point.

Midway through the second quarter, Enid tied the game, 27-27, after Antonio Allison made two free throws. Allison finished with 14 points and played just over 34 minutes.

The Outlaws went into halftime down 45-43.

Over the first 1:30 of the third quarter, Wichita extended the lead to 51-45, after going on a 6-2 run. The Outlaws tied the game at 53 later in the quarter after going on an 8-2 run, and then Wichita jumped back out into the lead. After tying the game 64-64, the Outlaws finished the quarter with a 7-2 run and went into the fourth up 71-66.

During the third quarter, Wichita’s leading scorer, Teddy Allen, was ejected after two technical fouls in the span of five minutes. Allen had 28 points for Wichita.

Wichita tied the game 77-77 with 5:15 to go and then went on a 7-2 run to take the lead.

The Outlaws got close, but could never get back into the game as Enid fell to 1-2 on the season, with a game against defending league champions Shreveport on Thursday at Stride Bank Center.

Ethan Chargois led the Outlaws with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Shawn Stith Jr. also had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Enid turned the ball over 15 times, but outscored Wichita in points off the bench 40-26.

“Today showed us that we can’t just rely on our offense,” Stith said. “We have to have our defense getting stops, working together and communicating.”

Before coming to Enid, Stith’s last basketball was at Cal State-Bakersfield. He said there’s a big difference between his last college game in 2022 and his first home pro game.

“I’m 100% healthy,” he said. “I just love being out here with these guys and getting our team chemistry. It’s still early, we still have to do a better job of getting our team chemistry and playing together as a team, but we have a lot of good pieces.”

Despite the loss, one thing Corporal was pleased with was the play of his post players, Stith and Chargois.

“That’s probably my positive (from the loss), my post guys,” Corporal said. “They’ve been playing pretty well. We still have to do things better, we have to learn how to play together. We aren’t playing together like we should. We have the potential to be a good team.”

During the game, it was announced that NBA champion and former 35th overall pick of the Seattle SuperSonics, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, will become an assistant coach with the Outlaws. Davis was not at Sunday’s game due to a missed flight. Previously he was on staff at another TBL team.

“I’m looking forward to that,” Corporal said. “He is going to bring a lot to the table with his experience with our bigs. He has been there and been to the big dance and has a couple of championship rings. He has played under some great coaches, so that knowledge for our young guys is going to be very helpful.”

Enid plays Shreveport on Thursday at the Stride Bank Center at 7 p.m.

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Becker is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Reese? Send an email to rbecker@enidnews.com.

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