SHAWNEE – Shawnee couldn't stop El Reno's perimeter game in a 72-52 loss Friday at Shawnee that saw the Indians pull away for good in the final moments of the fourth quarter.
“I thought we did a great job of fighting back,” Shawnee coach Ron Arthur said. “Against a high caliber team like El Reno you can't put yourself into a big hole like we did the first half... It's tough anyway against those guys, but it's tougher when you're ten stories deep. These guys did a great job of coming out with some energy and some enthusiasm.”
Shawnee fought back from down 16 at halftime to get within eight early in the fourth. The teams were pretty even from there until El Reno's Rhett Kouba banged out a corner three to send the Indians on an 11-0 run through the majority of what was left in the game. Ramey Harrison drained two free-throws to close things out for Shawnee.
The Indians hit nine 3-pointers in the game and three in the fourth quarter.
“That's what makes them so dangerous, because they've really improved defensively, but the offenseive toughness is just so extraordinary,” Arthur said.
Things got off to a rough start for Shawnee as El Reno hit back-to-back 3-pointers and put in another bucket for eight unanswered points to take a 10-1 lead early on. LJ McKissick stopped the bleeding with a basket with 5:11 left in the first but after cutting the Indians' lead in half, El Reno went on a 10-6 run to close out the first with a 22-11 advantage.
El Reno kept up the attack with an 18-13 run in the second to take a 40-24 lead into the halftime break. The Wolves went one and done for much of the quarter, save back-to-back baskets from McKissick who capped off his solo 5-0 run with an and-one free-throw.
Down 47-30 in the third, the Wolves made a push with eight unanswered to cut into El Reno's lead but the Indians put in two more buckets and Shawnee cut in late to trail 51-41 going to the fourth. DeAndre Love kept the streak going with two free-throws to start the fourth but Elijah Durham hit his second trey of the night to take the wind out of the Wolves' sails early in the final quarter.
Harrison led Shawnee with 15 points, Chase Morris had 11 and McKissick put in 10.
Eli Hollis led all scorers with 16 for El Reno. A.J. Sioux had 14 and Kouba had 12 with four triples.
Shawnee drops to 6-11 on the season with the loss. They will square off with Guthrie (3-12) on the road Tuesday, who they beat 53-46, Jan. 12.