SHAWNEE – Guthrie chipped away at Shawnee but never took the lead in a 53-46 Wolves home win Friday. Shawnee led 19-7 after the first quarter and never lost the lead, but their momentum bled out through much of the later quarters.

“I'm real proud of the guys for coming out in the first quarter and getting after it,” Shawnee coach Ron Arthur said. “The good thing is, we never trailed. The bad thing is, we still can't find that coming out of the third quarter... We've got to do a lot better job of coming out in the third quarter and getting after it.”

The Wolves got off to a hot start with a 19-2 run through the first 7:30 to take a big lead early on with triples by Carson Meier, Tyler Huebert and Cody Parman. Guthrie got going in the final 30 seconds with a bucket by Kade Whorton and 3-pointer from Dyson Brackett to make it a 19-7 game going to the second.

Guthrie closed the gap in the second with an 11-9 run and Shawnee went into the half with a 28-18 advantage.

Meier hit two free-throws and LJ McKissick landed a bucket to start the third before Guthrie rallied 11-6, forcing Shawnee to take a timeout to stop Guthrie's momentum and try to recalibrate with 3:53 left in the third. Both teams went scoreless in the final 2:28 to give Shawnee a 38-30 lead heading to the fourth.

Guthrie continued creeping in with six unanswered points to start the fourth but never took the lead. Shawnee went on a 7-0 run over two minutes to go back out ahead 51-41 with 1:37 left to play and held on the rest of the way. Guthrie made a push to make it 51-46 with 21 seconds left, but Tyler Huebert iced two free throws and the Wolves defense kept the Blue Jays in check to seal the win.

Third quarter woes and keeping up momentum for the entire game is something the Wolves have struggled with through the season. Arthur is looking for that spark his kids need.

“I'm just waiting on that light bulb to come on and us to get after it from start to finish,” he said.

McKissick led Shawnee with 15 points and Meier had 13. Parman put in seven and Huebert and Daryl Busby had six apiece. Shawnee was without regular starters Chase Morris and Ramey Harrison.

“LJ did a fabulous job scoring aroud the bucket. We need him to do that every game,” Arthur said.

Guthrie's CJ Ward led all scorers with 20 points and Brackett had 14. Their next highest scorer was Jose Martinez with three points.

Shawnee (5-7) will have some time off before hosting the Shawnee Invitational next Thursday. They open Thursday at 2:30 against 6A No. 11 Choctaw.