Wolves smother Collinsville in regional opener

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Shawnee junior guard Jaylon Orange (left) prepares to drive the ball toward the basket against Collinsville Friday in Class 5A regional play at Tulsa Will Rogers High School.

TULSA – Down by an early 11-2 count, the Shawnee Wolves unleashed a beast – a swarming and smothering one – in claiming a 63-54 victory over the Collinsville Cardinals Friday in the first round of the Class 5A boys' regional playoffs at Will Rogers High School.

Shawnee, which improved to 14-5 with the win, got off to a sluggish start in falling behind by nine.

“In the first quarter, we did not play as hard as we could, but that could be attributed to not playing in three weeks,” said Shawnee head coach Paxton Kilby. “We had been going hard in practice, but it's not a real game time situation.”

After a timeout, Kilby got the Wolves going with the beast, also known as fullcourt pressure. In turning up the heat, Shawnee went on a 10-4 spurt to close the period and pull within 15-12.

Then came a thorough shellacking of Collinsville in the second. The Wolves outscored the Cardinals 22-3 in the second in nabbing a 34-18 halftime advantage.

“We got our bearings straight and started to play ball. Our press started causing them problems,” Kilby said.

Senior Karran Evans poured in 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds as six of those boards came on the offensive end. He was 8 of 13 from the floor to go with two steals and a massive blocked shot.

Shawnee junior Jaylon Orange followed with 13 points, eight boards, two assists and a block. Tanner Morris, also a junior, tossed in 11 points, including a pair of treys.

The late first-quarter run by the Wolves featured a basket apiece from Evans, Orange (a steal and layup), Morris, Isaiah Willis (dunk) and Kayden Shaw.

Orange hit a free throw and Morris drained a 3-pointer to start the second period. After Collinsville's only field goal of the second quarter, Shawnee scored 18 straight points.

Evans tallied six points off two field goals and a pair of free shots during that stretch. Morris knocked down a 2-pointer and 3-pointer. Orange provided two baskets - the first after a Willis block and rebound by Orange and the other off a put-back shot.

Collinsville cut into the deficit late against the Wolves' reserves, getting as close as 59-53 with 14 seconds left.

Kilby opted to leave in his bench players, despite the Cardinals' comeback.

“These guys need some playing time for the future. I have confidence in them.” said Kilby.

Shawnee dominated the boards by a 46-26 margin as five Wolves collected five or more rebounds.

The Wolves are scheduled to play Tulsa Rogers in the regional finals Saturday at 7 p.m.