HARRAH – No. 17 in Class 5A Shawnee was unable to strike oil twice Tuesday night in their 70-64 loss to 4A No. 3 Harrah to start the season. The boys came back from an early defecit to take a lead into the half, but were unable to complete the comeback again in the fourth.
“I thought we did a pretty good job of fighting back. Unfortunately for us, we didn't get over that proverbial mountain top the way we did the first half and fell behind there at the beginning of the second half, and it's such a tough hill to climb,” coach Ron Arthur said.
Trailing 20-9 after the first quarter, Ramey Harrison became a monster not to be messed with on Harrah's court. The Wolves junior put up 12 points in the 22-10 run, including a 3-pointer and a breakaway on a steal to take a 31-30 lead into the half.
Harrah slowly took over in the third, before putting up an 8-0 run to take a 50-39 lead with two minutes before the fourth. A tip-in by Timmy Young and layup from Shaun Willis closed the gap to seven, but Harrah star Brady Manek put through two courtesy throws to extend further ahead.
Shawnee would make a 21-18 run in the fourth, but the Panthers' were too good at the line to catch up – making eight of their 11 attempts, most while in the double bonus.
Harrison led the game with 20 points, followed by LJ McKissick with 16. Cody Parman took two charges from Harrah to stop a pair of would-be baskets and keep the Panthers within reach.
“They've been playing together here and executing in practice really well. It was good to see that happen in game action. We just need to do a better job of shooting the ball,” Arthur said.
Arthur knew that Manek, a University of Oklahoma recruit was going to be one of the Wolves' biggest challenges coming into the game. He led all scorers with 32 points.
“We knew going in that that was the guy we had to maintain as best we could. We're not going to shut him down, he's too good of a player and he just opened up the offense for them,” he said.
The Wolves travel to Piedmont Tuesday.