A short schedule means a short roundup on the last night of hoops before the holiday break for most teams. There are a lot of intriguing holiday tournaments coming up, but let’s not skip too far ahead. Let’s get right to Tuesday’s roundup:
Guthrie too quick for Harrah
Powered by a speedy, balanced lineup, Guthrie is beginning to show itself as a team to watch in Class 5A.
Led by Jerrick Warren with 19 points, five Bluejays scored at least eight Tuesday night in a 75-55 home win over Harrah to move Guthrie to 3-0 on the young season.
Senior Codee Gross scored 17 for Guthrie, while Kai Callins added 14, as the Jays’ short but quick lineup proved too much for Harrah.
“We’re not big, but we have some quickness with a lot of guys who work hard,” Guthrie coach Pete Papahronis said. “I’m very happy with where we’re at. Any guy on any night can step up and give us points.
“We believe we can compete. Time will tell how good we can be.”
Guthrie flashed its speed in building an early lead, which only grew the rest of the night. Harrah was able to hang around through the first half, thanks to the hot shooting of Adam Keiffer, who had 13 of his 17 points before halftime.
But Warren, a junior guard, went to work in the second half with 13 points, including 11-of-14 at the free throw line.
My take: With wins over El Reno and Piedmont — two teams that went to state last year — to open the season, I was curious about Guthrie, and they came through with another solid win. Gross will be the go-to guy when they need someone, but in general, their ability to get points from several different players will be key.
There are probably a couple teams at the top of 5A that are a notch above the rest of the field, but there’s not a lot of separation from 5-15 in the rankings. Guthrie is going to make some noise.
Memorial rolls in Edlam
Senior Terrell Savala scored 15 points and Class 6A No. 3 Edmond Memorial bounced back from its first loss last week to rout crosstown rival Edmond North 69-39.
The Bulldogs (7-1), the defending 6A state champions, lost to Class 5A’s top-ranked team, Del City, on Dec. 13.
“You always want to come back and play well after a loss,” said Memorial coach Shane Cowherd. “We learned from it.”
Brothers James and Jordan Woodard scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Memorial, which jumped out to a 23-8 lead after the first quarter.
Savala, who transferred this summer from Edmond Santa Fe, has added another dangerous weapon to the already stacked Bulldogs.
“He’s come in and worked hard,” Cowherd said. “He’s working to adapt to the Memorial culture.”
My take: Thanks to Jason Kersey for the coverage of Edlam in his first chance to see the Memorial boys. It was clear that the Bulldogs were anxious to get back on the court after last week’s loss to Del City and it didn’t take them long to get going. I think Quinn Wooldridge is a good guy for the Edmond North job, but this will be a tough year, win-loss-wise, as he tries to build his program.
PC advances to finals
David Bush and Ronnie Boyce powered Putnam City to a 70-61 win over Baldwin County (Fla.) in the semifinals of the Wildcat Holiday Classic in Pensacola, Fla., putting the young Pirates in the tournament finals.
Bush scored 26 points and Boyce had 20, with Orlando Goldsmith adding 11, as Putnam City erased a six-point fourth-quarter deficit. The Pirates outscored Baldwin County 22-7 in the final period.
Boyce also scored 20 in Monday’s first-round win, 84-45 over Pensacola-based Escambia.
The Pirates will play for the tournament title at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
My take: Not much to add here, beyond what I wrote about the Pirates in Monday’s paper. These guys are looking good so far.
T.J. Jones scored 21 points as Putnam City North knocked off Yukon 67-47… Stroud had four scorers in double-figures in a 90-45 win over Jones… Christian Foster had a game-high 18 points in Piedmont’s 46-44 win over Woodard.
My take: PC North hit the Oklahoma sports trifecta with a visit from Justin Blackmon at Tuesday’s game. They had OU football players at last Tuesday’s game, then the Thunder scrimmaged before their win Friday at PC West, now the OSU star. Blackmon’s visit wasn’t just a coincidence. PC North’s Rick Harris coached Blackmon at Plainview.
Beating Woodward is a solid win for Piedmont. I’m still convinced the Wildcats are going to be one of the better teams in 4A, but they’re also very young, so that will play a factor in their early season development. Keep an eye on them in March and beyond.