SKIATOOK — Putnam City is doing just fine in the post-Xavier Henry era.
Class 6A’s defending champions advanced to the semifinals Thursday with a 59-41 win over Jenks at Skiatook’s Gary Johnson Activity Center.
Putnam City (23-4) will face Edmond Santa Fe at 9 a.m. Friday at the Mabee Center.
The teams have met twice this season, splitting with the home teams winning both games. Santa Fe won the first meeting 56-52 on Jan. 19 while the Pirates beat the Wolves 60-54 in the regular-season finale Feb. 19.
High school basketball tournament coverage sponsored by United Supermarkets. “We had a much better understanding of them the second time,” Putnam City’s Dominique Raney said. “I thought that first game was a bit of a fluke. We have our game plan already set for that one. As long as we play our game, we’ll be fine.”
A win Friday would send Putnam City to the championship game for the seventh time in its last eight appearances.
“Every year we come out, we’re playing for a state title,” Raney said. “We’re not playing for anything else.”
The teams traded the lead on six consecutive trips down the floor early in the first period before Putnam City settled in and pulled away.
“We’re a team that prides ourselves on our defense and we weren’t executing on that end,” Raney said. “We were beating ourselves. We just started executing better and things got better for us.”
The Pirates led by 10 points late in the second quarter and steadily stretched that lead until they were up 22 after Raney’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter.
Raney had 20 to lead all scorers. Brian Brown added 12 and Hunter Gibson 11 for the Pirates.
C.J. Sidorakis led the Trojans with 11.
Jenks was one of just two teams from the East side of the state in the 6A boys field. Only Muskogee, which plays Putnam City West at 7 p.m., remains from the East.
The game was a rematch of last season’s 6A title game, where the Henry-led Pirates beat Jenks 72-48.