Wolves claim East Central Oklahoma Classic crown

Brian Johnson
Members of the Shawnee High School boys' basketball team pose with their trophy Saturday after winning the championship of the East Central Oklahoma Classic at Ada.

ADA – Paxton Kilby summed up the Shawnee Wolves' week with one word – Resiliency.

The Shawnee head coach had just guided Shawnee to an East Central Oklahoma Classic championship as the Wolves knocked off the Oklahoma City Storm homeschool squad, 56-43, Saturday night at Ada High School's Cougar Activity Center.

“Resiliency. To play four games in one week (actually five days) and three in three days straight takes toughness and guts,” said Kilby, whose Wolves improved to 7-2 on the season.

Junior Tanner Morris earned most valuable player honors after pouring in 26 points to go with a pair of steals. Morris was 9 of 13 from the floor and knocked down three 3-point shots in fueling Shawnee to the victory.

“Tanner hit some big shots and was in a zone. He also played well defensively,” Kilby said.

Two of Morris' teammates – seniors Joe Maytubby and Isaiah Willis – were selected to the all-tournament team. Maytubby, at 6 foot, 5 inches, tallied 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, recorded three steals and blocked a shot against the Storm. Willis, at 6-6, tossed in just six points but snatched 11 rebounds and blocked three shots for the winners.

“Our big guys were huge and they helped us dominate the boards,” said Kilby.

The Wolves owned a convincing 38-24 rebounding advantage with Willis and Maytubby leading the way. Kayden Shaw, off the bench, pulled down seven boards as well, though he didn't score.

Jaylon Orange, who struggled from the field, did contribute eight points after sinking one 3-point shot and converting five free throws. He also had four boards, three blocks and a steal. Jeffery Hall added a basket and Christian Petteron tacked on a free throw to complete the SHS scoring.

Shawnee shot 43.9% from the floor for the game while converting 69.6% (16 of 23) of its free-throw attempts. The Storm, which was playing its 16th game of the season, hit at just a 34% pace from the field and tried just five free shots, connecting on only two.

Zander Baker-Bluitt led the Storm with 14 points as he drained a pair of treys. Reserve Landon Talbott followed with nine points off three 3-point connections and Morgan Hansen, a 6-7 center, ended up with eight points and four rebounds.

The Wolves had three more turnovers than the Storm, 16-13.

Shawnee jumped out to a quick 13-2 advantage with Morris scoring eight of those points off 3 of 4 free throws, a 3-point bucket and a reverse layup off a baseline drive.

However, the Storm clipped the deficit to 16-13 by the end of the first period via two treys from Talbott and a buzzer-beating 35-footer by Baker-Bluitt.

The Wolves even fell behind by a 19-16 count early in the second, but the two teams went on to a 23-all halftime deadlock.

However, the third quarter belonged to Shawnee as the Wolves went on a 9-0 run, fueled by a Maytubby score off a Morris feed. Morris then hit a pump-fake shot in the lane, Orange drained his 3-pointer and Maytubby got a steal and slam dunk to make it 32-23 with 3:29 left in the third.

Shawnee maintained that nine-point advantage at the end of the third after a conventional 3-point play by Maytubby with 20 seconds to go, making it 37-28.

The Storm battled back to get within 41-39 in the fourth quarter, but the Wolves went on to close the game with a 15-2 run.

A 3-point basket and jumper in the lane – both by Morris – jump-started that late-game spurt. Orange nailed 3 of 4 free shots during that span. Maytubby nailed two free throws, Morris hit another trey and Willis capped off the run and his team's scoring by executing a dunk with 20 seconds remaining.