High school basketball: Southeast boys make statement

by Ryan Aber and Scott Wright Published: January 25, 2013
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photo - Carl Albert's Malik Barnett, right, and Putnam CIty West's Omega Hrris go for the ball during their high school basketball game at Carl Albert in Midwest City, Okla., Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Carl Albert's Malik Barnett, right, and Putnam CIty West's Omega Hrris go for the ball during their high school basketball game at Carl Albert in Midwest City, Okla., Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Southeast is out to show that it is one of the best boys basketball teams in Class 5A, and Friday's win over No. 3 Coweta certainly helped the Spartans' case.

Seventh-ranked Southeast used the strong inside game of Rashawn Thomas and multiple outside shooters for a 58-50 victory in the semifinals of the Shawnee Shootout.

Thomas, an athletic 6-foot-7 forward, fought hard for his 17 points and threw down a backboard-rattling dunk in the fourth quarter as the Spartans put the game away.

“To come in as underdogs and beat them is good for us,” Thomas said. “We feel we have something to prove, and people think we aren't as good as we really are. We're on a win streak right now, and we want to keep it going.”

Southeast has won nine straight games while establishing itself as a 5A contender.

On the season, Southeast is 15-4, with only one loss coming against in-state competition, that a November defeat at Stillwater.

In the final, the Spartans will face an upstart Norman North squad that has quickly melded several new players together with returners. Payton Prince, a 6-foot-3 junior, scored 21 points to lift the No. 18 Timberwolves to a 76-62 win over seventh-ranked Stillwater.

Prince is one of the returning players who has been joined by three new starters, including two freshmen.

“We believed we could be one of the best teams in Oklahoma,” Prince said. “It took some time to get all these new guys together. We have two freshmen, so we're always communicating with them and letting them know that they're just like the rest of us.”

Southeast and Norman North will square off at 8 p.m. Saturday in the final at Shawnee.

ZONE HELPS CARL ALBERT ADVANCE

Carl Albert hadn't run much zone defense before Friday night's semifinals of the Titan Classic against Putnam City West.

But Titans coach Jay Price thought his team needed to use it against Omega Harris and the Patriots.

It worked, as Harris got his points, but Carl Albert largely held the rest of the team in check in a 72-67 win.

“I think we caught them off-guard a bit there with the full-court press back into a zone,” Price said. “And we rebounded well out of it.”

Carl Albert outrebounded the Patriots 36-29.

Carl Albert built the lead quickly, taking control with an 11-0 run that stretched more than five minutes over the first and second quarters.

The Titans led by 18 with just more than three minutes remaining in the first half, but Putnam West closed the half with a 10-2 run to climb back into the game.

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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