With two wins in its first seven games, Putnam City West has fought through a frustrating start to the basketball season, but all the pieces clicked into place Thursday night.
The Patriots exploded to a 28-11 lead in the first quarter and were able to hold off all potential rallies by host Putnam City North for a 70-52 win in the first round of the 14th annual Putnam City Invitational.
Tyson Jolly, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, keyed the fast start with 13 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, while junior Omega Haris finished with 16.
“We got off to a rough start this season, but coach (Lenny Bert) stays hard on us and we push each other,” Jolly said. “We knew we were prepared, so we just came out and played and had fun.”
The Patriots will face No. 1 Midwest City at 7 p.m. in Friday's semifinal action. The Bombers saw little resistance in a 79-29 win over Lawton. Cornell Neal had 16 points for Midwest City.
PC PULLS AWAY
For a half, John Marshall looked like a team primed to knock off one of Class 6A's best. But Putnam City's defense took over, forcing several turnovers as the Pirates pulled away for a 76-50 win in the first round of the PCI.
Ronnie Boyce had a game-high 22 points for Putnam City, while Richmarr Smith had 15 and David Bush had 12 for the third-ranked Pirates.
John Marshall led 15-6 late in the first quarter, and trailed only 31-28 at the half, but PC exploded with a 23-6 run in the third.
The Pirates will take on Lawton Eisenhower at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Lawton Ike defeated Tulsa Union — defending champion of Class 6A, as well as the PCI — 66-55 Thursday, led by Jamey Woods with 17 points.
FRESHMEN LEAD TIMBERWOLVES
Norman North's youngsters are giving life to their whole team.
The Timberwolves' two freshmen starters combined for 21 points as Norman North beat Deer Creek 75-60 to open the 53rd annual McGuinness Classic on Thursday at Bishop McGuinness.