STILLWATER – A 12-0 early fourth-quarter spurt was enough to ignite the Class 5A fourth-ranked Shawnee Wolves to a 61-55 regular season ending victory over Class 6A Ponca City Friday night at Oklahoma State University's Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Shawnee, which wrapped up the season at 18-5, had to withstand a late fourth-quarter charge in which the Wolfpack starters were inserted back into the game to finish it it up in the waning seconds.
Senior Ka'Veon Sharp poured in 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded three steals while Jaylon Orange added 13 points for Shawnee which is set to host a 5A regional Friday night. The Wolves will face Altus at 8 p.m. after Ardmore and Duncan meet at 6:30 p.m.
“This is a special team that can play defense. We just can't turn the ball over like we did tonight,” said Shawnee head coach Ron Arthur.
The game featured a 30-minute arena blackout in the second quarter with 5:24 to go in which power outage occurred within the City of Stillwater.
When play resumed they finished the rest of the quarter and immediately jumped into the third quarter.
J'Briell Easley contributed nine points, four rebounds and a steal to the Wolves' attack. Tanner Morris, behind a pair of 3-pointers, ended up with eight points and Karran Evans chipped in six points off the bench. Isaiah Willis pulled down eight boards to go with his five points.
Steven Faulkner paced Ponca City with20 points as he knocked down six treys, a majority of which were from NBA 3-point land. Anthony Gazaway followed with 13 points, including a pair of treys, and Luke Seals, who also nailed two 3-point shots, added 10 points off the bench for the Wildcats.
Leading 43-37, Shawnee's 12-point avalanche was triggered by an Orange drive to the hoop. He later scored and drew a foul for an old-fashioned 3-point play. Orange then fed Sharp who scored off a jumper and Easley, on the break, executed a slam dunk and drew a foul for another conventional 3-point play. Sharp then canned another basket for a 55-37 Wolves' advantage with 4:20 remaining.
Ponca City stayed in contention through the long ball as they converted 12 treys on the night and had four in the final 1:19 to make it too close for comfort. Shawnee starters were inserted back into the game to close it out. Easley's layup off a long downcourt pass came as the buzzer sounded giving the Wolves' the six-point win.
PONCA CITY 49, SHAWNEE 39 (Girls)
Baylee Fincher tossed in 16 points while Carlie Badley and Ashlynn Fincher chipped in 11 apiece as Class 6A 15th-ranked Lady Wildcats held off the 5A 17th-ranked Lady Wolves.
Ponca City, 17-5, drained 15-of-18 free shots in the game while Shawnee was only 6-of-12.
Shawnee, which fell to 10-13, trailed just 36-35 with 5:30 remaining, but was outscored by a13-4 margin the rest of the way.
Aubrie Megehee topped the Lady Wolves' scoring chart with 10 to go with three steals and four rebounds while Alycia Edwards and Alesia Thomas tacked on six points apiece.
Despite seven third-quarter turnovers by Shawnee, the Lady Wolves trailed just 32-29 entering the fourth period. Shawnee had three more turnovers than the Lady Wildcats, 15-12, for the game.
The Lady Wolves shot just 31.9% on the night while Ponca City hit at a 39.5% clip. Each team made 15 field goals. The Lady Wildcats had one more trey while faring better from the foul line.
Shawnee enjoyed a 33-20 rebounding advantage with 16 coming off the offensive glass. Tatum Sparks hustled for seven of those boards with five coming on the offensive end.
Ponca City doubled up the Lady Wolves by a 14-7 count in the first quarter, but Shawnee battled back to trim the deficit to five at the half, 23-18. Shawnee had a 6-0 spurt during that frame off two Thomas free throws, a 12-foot jumper by Megehee off a rebound and another Megehee basket off a Sparks feed.
Shawnee continued to battle in the third, despite the miscues, and pulled within three by the conclusion of the quarter. Five different Lady Wolves figured into the scoring in that period, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Edwards. Esabelle Ramirez, Amaya Martinez, Sparks and Thomas each had a bucket in the quarter.
Back-to-back baskets by Tristyn Napier (off a trey) and Megehee pulled Shawnee within 36-35 before the Lady Wildcats went on their big run to end the game.
The Lady Wolves open Class 5A regional play on Thursday against Guthrie at 6:30 p.m. at Piedmont.