YUKON — Kiowa coach Keith Quaid told his players from the start of the game, if they had open shots, take them.
The 11th-ranked Cowboys took them, and hit them, making five 3-pointers in the first quarter to grab control against No. 1 Fort Cobb-Broxton on the way to a 56-46 upset in the first round of the Class A boys basketball state tournament at Yukon High School.
“We had some open looks tonight, and sometimes it’s just going in,” Quaid said. “We were relaxed and poised, and I thought they took some pretty good shots.
“Our kids are some tough-minded kids and they wanted to be here in this situation. They looked forward to playing Fort Cobb. They weren’t passive. We executed our game plan perfectly.”
Tristian McMath hit a pair of early 3s for the Cowboys (24-5) and anchored their feisty defense that was able to limit a powerful Fort Cobb-Broxton offense. Freshman Greyden Steinmetz led the Mustangs with 17 points.
“They’re tough to defend, because if you help off one man, somebody else is gonna get an open shot,” McMath said. “And they’re effective. They pass the ball really well. It was tough, but that Kiowa defense got it done.”
Kiowa’s Brycen Overton had 11 points and Clay Doyle had 10 as the Cowboys earned their first state tournament victory in their fifth appearance.
“This is the first time for our school in the semifinals,” McBath said. “We just want to come out and represent the best we can for Kiowa. It means a lot for me personally. I’ve dreamed about this since I was little bitty.”
The Cowboys will face the Hollis/Pond Creek-Hunter winner at 4:30 p.m. in Friday’s semifinal action at State Fair Arena.