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Shawnee sweeps home games from Guthrie

Keven Scrutchins
Shawnee's Kayden Shaw slams the ball through the hoop against Guthrie Tuesday night at the Shawnee PAAC.

Shawnee hosted the Guthrie basketball squads for a Tuesday night doubleheader and came away with the home sweep, but it was anything but easy.

The Lady Wolves held on for a 43-39 win before the Class 5A fourth-ranked Wolves won 58-53 in overtime over the pesky Blue Jays.

In the overtime game, the Wolves took some time to get their game on-track. Guthrie, undersized compared to the Wolves, scratched and clawed its way to a 16-13 first-quarter lead. Alex Clark hit two treys for Guthrie in the quarter, staying away from the Shawnee interior defense. The Wolves' Tanner Morris also hit two treys in the opening quarter to keep Shawnee close.

In the second frame, Shawnee’s defense stiffened, allowing the Wolves to creep back into the lead by the end of the half. The Wolves turned to the interior on offense and benefited from Isaiah Willis (6 feet, 5 inches) and Kayden Shaw’s (6-4) combined eight points in the paint. Shawnee held a slim 25-24 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Wolves looked like they would pull away from the unranked Blue Jays as they built the lead to eight points on two separate occasions. Shawnee held a 32-24 advantage on a Willis bucket with 5:31 left in the third and once again on a Jaylon Orange runner with 3:54 to give the Wolves a 34-26 lead.

Back-to-back Guthrie treys by Jaylen Chelf and Brady Hirzel then closed the Shawnee gap to 36-34, heading into the fourth quarter. That’s when Guthrie’s TJ Kelly heated up for the Blue Jays. Kelly scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as Guthrie stood toe-to-toe with the Wolves.

Down the fourth-quarter stretch, Shawnee had opportunities to put Guthrie away, but a 1-of-3 free throw setback in the final 0:16 of regulation opened the door for the Blue Jays. Kelly took full advantage and as the clock went to zero, hit a trey after he secured an offensive rebound, squared, and hit nothing but net to get things even at 48-48 at the end of the fourth.

Overtime was no match for Shawnee’s Orange. The 5-8 junior took the contest into his own hands, scoring nine of the Wolves' 10 points in overtime. Orange scored five straight points to open the overtime on a drive and then a trey to give the Wolves the much-needed boost, propelling them to victory. Shawnee’s defense held Guthrie to just two field goals in the OT and Orange iced the game when he hit two free throws with eight seconds left, giving the Wolves the five-point win. Orange finished with 16 points and Willis scored 15. Morris chipped in with nine points for the 8-2 Wolves.

In the opener, the Lady Wolves' and Lady Jays' defenses dominated the proceedings. The Lady Wolves packed in a 2-3 zone while the Guthrie girls deployed a sagging man-to-man defense and full-court pressure which kept the scoring down and the game tight.

Shawnee led 11-8 after the first quarter, but the Lady Jays got into the free-throw bonus early in the second frame and hit 10 of 13 attempts to keep the game close. Guthrie added just one field goal in that quarter, a trey by McKenna Gatson with 0:07 left, tying the score at 21-21 at intermission. Shawnee’s scoring came from inside the paint with Amaya Martinez and Kailey Henry leading the charge in the opening half. Martinez scored seven while Henry netted four second-quarter points.

The game turned in the third quarter and Shawnee’s defense was the leading influence. The Lady Wolves held the Lady Jays to just four points in the third, building a 32-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Offensively, the second half belonged to Shawnee’s Aubrie Megehee. Megehee, who limped off of the court after diving for a loose ball in the first half, came back strong, scoring 13 of her game-high 18 points in the second half. The Lady Wolves built the lead to 39-30 on a Megehee bucket with 5:47 left, but the Class 5A 12th-ranked Lady Jays would not go away without a fight. Once again, Guthrie did most of its damage from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. They hit 8 of 11 free throws in the fourth to tighten the tilt. Guthrie closed the gap to 42-39 with 0:09 left on a Mariah Dightman put-back.

Shawnee’s Kaitlyn Taylor went to the free throw line to try to close the deal with 0:4.9 and did just that by hitting the front end of the one-and-one to give the Lady Wolves a two-possession cushion and the subsequent win. Henry joined Megehee in double figures with 10 points. Martinez finished with seven.

The Class 5A 10th-ranked Lady Wolves improved to 6-5 on the season.

The Shawnee teams will host Piedmont Friday night.