EARLSBORO – With a 76-53 shutdown over Gracemont Saturday night, the Class B-No. 3 Earlsboro Wildcats won the District 5 title and moved on to the Regional winner's bracket to keep two losses away from dropping out of the postseason.
The Wildcats were having some trouble getting an advantage in Saturday's game until Elijah Stargell – who was recovering from illness – provided a spark off the bench with a tip-in to tie the game at 6 at the 3:45 mark and project the Wildcats on a 19-4 climb to the six minute point of the second quarter.
Earlsboro rallied with another 12-5 run to close out the half, helped on treys by Trey Herron, Kobe Smith and Garrett Lena.
By the first half, Herron had hit three 3-pointers and accrued 13 points and Stargell had provided seven points.
Gracemont dropped a bucket to start the second half but the Wildcats responded with a 9-0 run kicked off by Smith and capped on a 3-pointer from Trenton Nadeau with 6:32 left in the third. The teams exchanged points for the remainder of the game and Nadeau and Gracemont's Gauge Scrogham had a 3-point competition to close out the final three buckets of the game.
Smith completed the game with 21 points to lead all scorers along with four assists and five rebounds. Herron finished with 18 points and Stargell had eight and both brought down eight boards apiece. Nadeau had nine points with his three triples and Kaveon Sharp also had nine points.
The Wildcats (23-3) move on to the Regional winner's bracket at Elgin where they will face the District 8 winner Between Chattanooga and Big Pasture Thursday at 8 p.m.